It has been well documented that sitting down for long hours can have a detrimental effect on your health. Various studies place the average working adult sitting from anywhere between 9.5 -14 hours a day. Sitting down during the commute, sitting down at work, sitting down socialising and at home. It soon adds up! As human beings, we are not biomechanically designed to be sat down for such long periods, and as such if we do then our health is the price we pay!
Sitting for long periods is consistently linked to more than 30 chronic diseases and conditions. This includes a 112% increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes, and a 147% increase in heart disease risk (NHS 2015). Insulin resistance — a key driver of type 2 diabetes — has been a particular area of interest for those researching sedentary behavior. Studies have shown that walking fewer than 1,500 steps per day, or sitting for long periods without reducing calorie intake, can cause a major increase in insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes.
With such severe health implications, we need to find ways of increasing the time we stand and move. Here are a few ideas that may help at work;
- Walk, walk, walk. Any opportunity you get to walk do so. If you get the bus get off a stop early and walk to work, use the stairs instead of the lift, go for a walk at lunchtime, if you need to speak to a colleague in the office walk over to the desk instead of speaking to them.
- Stand up. Stand up as much as you can. Speaking on the phone, typing at your desk, eating at lunch, whenever possible stand instead of sit.
- Make the most of your down time. Before work, lunchtime or after work, do some type of physical activity. Start a walking or running club, if it’s a nice day do some exercise outside, practice yoga or just stretch your cramped muscles from all the sitting.
- Lots of companies now take a vested interest in their employees’ health. On site gyms, or health and exercise classes are much more employee friendly and accessible than free gym passes. Check out the types of classes we offer.
- It may seem crazy but this 70 second routine can make a positive difference to your working day.
Even just standing up for 5 minutes every hour can reap the following benefits:
- Relieves back pain
- Strengthens back and core muscles
- Burns more calories
- Enhances alertness and cognitive function
- Increases focus
- Boosts circulation
- Balances blood sugar levels
- Helps combat fatigue
- Activates metabolism
See what you can come up with for reducing your time sat on your bum!