Employees urged to stand up for at least two hours a day in the office

Our headline today is unlikely to be new advice to many however, guidance published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine this week, warns that UK sedentary behaviour now accounts for 60% of people’s waking hours.

The latest research was commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) as a growing body of evidence links prolonged periods of physical inactivity with a heightened risk of serious illness and premature death.

Office workers with desk-based jobs are advised to stand up initially for two hours a day, eventually progressing to four hours, and to engage in some “light activity” during working hours.

The guidelines also state that employers should warn their staff about the potential dangers of too much time spent sitting down, either at work or at home. Staff should also be encouraged by their bosses to embrace other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, such as cutting down on drinking and smoking and eating a nutritious diet.

With a plethora of similar studies in recent times here are Healthy Performance’s top 5 reasons why sitting is bad for your health:

5. In 2014, researchers from the United States published results suggesting that sitting throughout most of the day may put individuals at higher risk for diabetes, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease — even if you clear time for daily exercise.

4. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who sat six or more hours a day were nearly 40 percent more likely to die over a 13-year-stretch than those who sat less than three hours. 

3. A British study last year found that every hour you sit in front of the TV, you can slash your life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes. Someone watching the television for 6 hours a day can cut their life expectancy by five years.

2. It has been found that putting pressure on certain body parts (i.e., your bottom) can produce up to 50 percent more fat than usual. 

1. Let’s wrap the number one reason up with some hope … sitting may be responsible for more than 170,000 cases of cancer yearly with breast and colon cancers being the most influenced by rates of physical inactivity. But, a little bit of walking really can go a long way! For many of the most common cancers, research has shown that something as simple as a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can help reduce cancer risk.

Whilst many employees can’t avoid their desks, simple actions like taking regular breaks can really go a long way. Our bodies are designed to move and NOT stay still for long periods; posture and balance play an essential role on a daily basis. The Healthy Performance Posture and Balance workshop can educate your employees on how to sit, stand and sleep (from a postural perspective). We also include fun ways to test balance and encourage building up core strength.  If you’d like further details on posture and balance or getting employees fmoving, please call one of the HP Team on 01295 230121.