We’ve been talking a lot lately about health and well-being in the office, so when we came across this blog from System Concepts, we just had to share it!
Did you know that sitting at a desk for eight hours a day can increase your risk of premature death by up to 60%, (worryingly, it is estimated that lack of physical activity is responsible for 5 million deaths globally, each year) as recent research published in the Lancet highlighted.
The research is based on a review of more than 1 million people from 16 different studies, and should be required reading for everyone involved in employee well-being and organisational health and safety.
It shows that increased time sitting is a major risk factor for morbidity (predominantly heart disease and cancer) as well as premature mortality. In the research, mortality rates among those who sat for at least eight hours a day and managed less than five minutes’ activity were 9.9%. This compares with a mortality rate of 6.2% among those who spent just as long seated, but who managed around 60 minutes’ of activity per day.
Researchers concluded that 60-75 minutes of medium intensity physical activity per day seems to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with high sitting time.
So if you have a desk job and can’t avoid long periods of sitting each day, here are 10 tips for physical activity at work that will help you to stay safe.
- Use your commute to do some extra walking. Park several roads away, or get off the bus a few stops early.
- Use the stairs instead of the lift.
- Go to speak to a colleague in person rather than emailing or phoning them.
- Suggest holding meetings with colleagues during a walk inside or outside the building.
- Exercise during your breaks, e.g. visit the gym at lunchtime or take a quick walk during your morning/afternoon coffee break.
- Plan your day to break up long spells of working on your computer with tasks requiring movement, e.g. printing, filing etc.
- Drink plenty of water. Sipping water thought the day will mean more trips to the bathroom.
- Go the extra distance when possible: get your coffee/water on another floor (use the stairs) or use the toilets that are the farthest from your desk.
- Stand while talking on the telephone, and do a few stretches.
- Organise the layout of your office space in such a way that you have to stand up to reach often-used files or your printer, rather than having everything within easy reach.
Thanks to System Concepts for this great blog, just what we wanted to say!