Sitting for long periods at work is linked to a host of health problems, which are not undone by working out in the gym. We are calling on people to stand regularly, walk around more and embrace ideas such as standing meetings or standing desks.
Experts described inactivity as “one of the biggest” challenges in health.
Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and poor mental health have all been linked to sedentary behaviour. The effect is found even in people who class themselves as fit, such as those who cycle to work, if they also spend long periods of time sitting. Prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism and affect the way the body controls sugar levels, blood pressure and the breakdown of fat.
Other ideas including using the stairs instead of a lift, eating lunch away from your desk, taking a break from your computer every 30 minutes and walking to a colleague’s desk rather than phoning or emailing them. Get Britain Standing says standing burns an extra 50 calories per hour than being seated.
Inactivity and sedentary behaviour is one of the biggest challenges in public health today. Compared with 100 years ago, our levels of activity are tiny, the number of manual jobs is continually reducing- even if you dig a road up you sit in a little tractor. It’s about changing attitudes to how people behave at work and changing the culture of the workplace that just means moving around at little bit more, even just standing up can make a big difference to calories burned and how alert, creative and productive you are.”