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Is sitting down as bad for your health as smoking?

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New research has revealed that over half of British workers (51%) do not get up from their desk at all during a working day, apart from going to the toilet. Worryingly, 60% of British workers spend most of their day sitting down and over half of us don’t even stretch our legs at lunchtime.

The findings follow a survey carried out by leading provider of corporate health and wellbeing cover, Westfield Health, who questioned 2000 employees throughout the UK on how much exercise they get during an average working day. The survey was carried out ahead of the launch of Westfield Health’s new health and wellbeing initiative, Walking Lunch, aimed at getting workers walking more during the working day.

It found that 55% of us walk for less than 20 minutes per day, with the worst culprits being those who work in Financial Services – 76% of whom admit to only getting up from their desk for less than one hour a day.

Wherever you work, a common theme is that we are sitting down for too long each day and our sedentary culture is taking a major toll on our health. There is a great deal of evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of obesity but also causes several serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It seems it really could be true; “Sitting is the new Smoking”.

And it seems that the humble lunch break, often the only real break in the day many of us get, is itself going extinct. While 84% of us think it is important to take a proper lunch break, 62% of employees are too busy to take a lunch break and 55% go ‘Al Desko’ not moving a muscle and eating lunch at their desk. 16% of us don’t eat lunch at all.

The survey also revealed that 64% of Brits are concerned about the health implications of a sedentary lifestyle, 40% say that they feel less stressed after walking in the fresh air for part of the day. 26% of UK workers say that they suffer from stiff joints and back ache having not been for a walk during their working day. 25% of Brits say they feel guilty for not having been active during the day.

Prevent this happening to your workforce by hiring Seven Hills Fitness, health and wellness corporate team to come to your place of work and deliver an outstanding exercise class to counteract the harm caused by a sedentary career.

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