In recent years, health experts have consistently, and often shockingly, highlighted the dangers to our health that are presented from sitting for prolonged periods of time.
With many of us working in office-based jobs, seated at our desks for entire working days, the average British person will spend 8.9 hours a day sitting down. This can contribute to serious health problems.
What Problems Can Prolonged Sitting Present to Health?
Sedentary activity can be linked to a number of health problems, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Some types of cancer
- And even premature death
How to Help Counteract the Risks of Prolonged Sitting
Although there are a number of health risks that can come from long periods of sitting, there are ways to help counteract these. Some tips include:
- Carry out regular exercise outside of work – 2 and a half hours a week is recommended.
- Standing desks – as an employer it may be a good idea to install some standing desks in the office, giving employees the option alongside their usual seated desks. As an employee, consider approaching your managers with the notion.
- Take regular breaks – ideally, you should try and get up and walk around to stretch your legs for 5 minutes every hour.
- Consider standing or walking meetings – if a meeting doesn’t require co-workers to be sat around a desk, suggest you go for a walk as you chat, or stand.
- Use your lunch break to get up and about – try and get away from your desk on your lunch break. This is a perfect opportunity to go for a short walk to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
- Create your own ideas – where possible make the most of opportunities to stand during work. During a long phone call for instance, why not take the opportunity to stand for a while whilst on the phone.
Employers should help encourage their employees to look after their health and avoid prolonged sitting as much as possible. Not only will this be beneficial to employee health and wellbeing, but in turn reduce absences linked to sedentary behaviour.