These days we are spending an increasing amount of time in our work day sitting. Advances in technology and labour saving devices mean that we don’t have to get up from our desks to get our work done. But have you ever wondered what this prolonged sitting is doing to your health?
While posture at work has long been recognised as a potential occupational hazard now too the effects of prolonged sitting at work are being discovered. Research has now linked it with premature mortality, heart disease and diabetes. In fact, reducing the total time spent sitting at work is now seen to be at least as important as increasing participation in physical activity outside of work hours.
It has been found that regular interruptions from sitting, even something as simple as standing up, may assist in reducing the risk factors for developing coronary artery disease, diabetes and back pain. So get moving!
It is recommended that you interrupt your sitting time every 30 minutes for at least 2 minutes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stop working.
Here are some top ideas to get you moving (remember every little bit helps):
- Get up and talk to a colleague instead of phoning them or sending them an email.
- Deliver items such as mail or documents personally.
- Invest in a longer phone cord or a headset so that you can walk around while on the phone.
- Wear a pedometer at work so that you can track the amount of steps that you take each day.
- Hold walking meetings in local parks or around local streets or at the very least incorporate short breaks in prolonged sit down meetings.
- If driving to work, park at least a 10 minute walk away from the office.
- If you catch public transport, get off a stop or two early so that you have to walk the extra distance.
- Try to organise activities during lunch breaks. Go out for a walk with colleagues, play some sport, organise for a personal trainer to come to the workplace.
These simple measures can easily be incorporated into your daily life. So get up from your desk and move around! It will make you healthier, and your work environment a healthier and ultimately happier place.