Accessability Links

Reduce your time sitting down…make a stand!

Posted by
14 Jul 2015
I don't want to run the risk of repeating myself here as I realise there is generally a common theme with my amateur blog writing! One thing that I repeatedly expresses a great deal of interest and enthusiasm in is physical activity, health, wellbeing and the lengths and attempts taken to maintain this health conscious, active lifestyle, (at least on paper anyway!).

The topic of food and physical activity is regularly discussed amongst friends, family and most definitely in the office, particularly with the conveyor belt of 'birthday treats' that seem to be available on a daily basis, it's hard to avoid! The question on the tip of everyone's tongue at around 11:15am is "what are you having for lunch” and if you don't ask it, I bet you're thinking about it! With the temptation of goodies within an arm's length in all directions, it puts emphasis on the importance of doing something physical at some point in the day.

If like me, and the vast majority of office workers, you will spend at least 75% (around 6 hours!) of the working day sedentary, quite often in prolonged periods extending half an hour. Research has shown that the cumulative impact of sitting down all day for years is linked with a variety of health problems including obesity, diabetes and cancer. There have been multiple experiments, tests and research papers produced describing the effects of standing during the working day rather than sitting, which can be found in further detail through the links below.

It was just last week, I went to see a personal trainer (not my usual thing) but I thought I'd give it a go and get some new advice/information. During the session the PT did some various strength and flexibility tests - best measured over a period of time but good as a starting point to see where I was at. Having previously trained in dance and gymnastics I would generally categorise myself in the mediocre department when it comes to flexibility. I was so wrong. When it actually came to stretching and measuring flexibility seriously, I found that as a result of sitting for such a long time daily my hip flexors have in fact shrunk, literally shortened in length because I don't stand up enough, in addition my chest muscles have weakened from poor posture sat at a computer desk and my core and lower back are weak. How annoying! It got me thinking of ways to counteract these notable physical changes, and ways to improve them.

There has been extensive research into the benefits of standing whilst at work, with one piece of research undertaken by Dr Mike Loosemore which states that 'standing up for three hours a day, five days a week, is as good for you as running ten marathons a year, and can extend your lifespan by two years'; the benefits are multiple and endless. However, for some companies the idea of installing standing work stations into the office is somewhat extreme and for us probably not within my remit of persuasive techniques - unfortunately! There are however other ways to try and offset the amount of time sitting. For example, I have recently joined the new office netball team (surprisingly exhausting!), it's a great way to interact and socialise with colleagues on a regular basis and get some exercise at the same time, maybe implement a sports team/league in your office. Other examples could be to stand up whilst speaking on the phone, taking the stairs rather than the lift and take a walk and physically speak to a colleague rather than sending an email.
There are plenty of ways to make small improvements to your physical activity and I, and the many research papers out there will guarantee you will see an improvement in your posture, positive mental attitude, energy and motivation.
For further information and a reference to where some of my statistics were found see the links below:

Tagged In: Events, Marketing
Add new comment
Back to Top