According to a new survey office workers need to get up off their seats and move around more during their work day, or risk a host of health problems which even regular gym workouts will not undo.
The nature of office work inevitably means that individuals often find themselves grabbing lunch to go and eating it at their desks, instead of making the most of their breaks by getting some fresh air and brief exercise. Research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Get Britain Standing shows that 52% of office workers regularly have lunch at their desks and 38% confess to emailing their colleague sat at the next desk.
As a result of these worrying revelations, both organisations have made it their mission to get Britain’s office workers out of their chairs and moving around more during the working day.
The survey, which interviewed some 2,000 office workers, found that 45% of women and 37 % of men spent 30 minutes or less on their feet at work a day. Furthermore, 62 % of respondents said they feared that this reality would have a negative effect on their health.
Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and poor mental health have all been linked to sedentary behaviour, which is why the findings of this survey make for alarming reading.
Even the office’s fittest workers are not safe from the risks of prolonged sitting, even if they cycle to work every day. Maintaining a seated position for a prolonged period not only slows the metabolism, but can also affect the way in which the body breaks down fat and controls sugar levels and blood pressure.
The BHF’s Health at Work programme project manager, Lisa Young, said: “We’re all guilty of being too glued to our screens sometimes, but these results show just how far the couch potato culture has infiltrated the workplace. Too many of us are tied to our desks at work, which could be increasing our risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”
The founder of the Get Britain Standing campaign, Gavin Bradley, added: “This survey shows too many office workers are stuck to their desks. We all know a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us, we just don’t realise how bad it is.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle at work could be negatively impacting your performance and increasing your risk of developing health problems later in life. Spending less time sitting down and more time moving could benefit your health and make you more productive.”
To raise further awareness of the problem, the Get Britain Standing campaign will hold a fundraising day on April 24. You can find out more by visiting their official website now.
At Premier Choice, we actively encourage changing attitudes to how people behave at work and are trying to change the culture of the workplace. Just moving around a little bit more, or even just standing up can make a big difference to calories burned and how alert, creative and productive you are.
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