"Is sitting down damaging your health? Experts warn we need more exercise at work. Are you sitting comfortably? Well, you jolly well shouldn't be. Experts say that office workers are damaging their health by spending too much time sitting down.
As a result, we're risking diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia, as well as obesity, back ache, depression and muscle degeneration.
The British Heart Foundation has teamed up with Get Britain Standing to launch the UK's first On Your Feet Britain campaign later this month. And, their research shows, we're in dire need of it, with 45% of women and 37% of men saying they spend less than 30 minutes a day walking round at work.
Almost two fifths of office workers are so tied to their desks that they've confessed to emailing someone right next to them, over half regularly eat lunch at their desk and nearly a third sit for so long they even put off going to the toilet.
"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," says Gavin Bradley, founder of Active Working CIC and the Get Britain Standing campaign.
"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."
The research shows that the average person sits for almost nine hours a day, nearly three-quarters of this being at work. And medical research has shown that this has serious effects on the metabolism.
Even just sitting for four hours a day can cause the enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats to shut down, calorie burning to decrease and blood sugar levels to rise. Insulin and blood pressure levels also fall, and leg muscles switch off.
And while you may believe that the bad effects of all this sitting are countered by weekly trips to the gym, the unfortunate news is that they're not.
The most obvious answer is to get a standing desk - all the rage in California for the last couple of years. Some even add extra bells and whistles for exercise, such as the Fluidstance Level, a balance board for use with a standing desk, designed to keep you moving.
Most people swear by standing desks - at least at first. However, studies have shown that where the height of a desk is adjustable, most people end up sitting most of the time, indicating that it's quite hard to keep up the effort.
So, if you're a bit suspicious of this expensive kit, what can you do to counteract the ill-effects of too much sitting down? The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has developed a series of exercises that can be done at your desk. The idea is to do them little and often.
The chest stretch
Sit forward from the back of your chair, and with your thumbs pointing to the ceiling open your arms out to the side until you feel a stretch in the front of your chest. Make sure your shoulders are back and down. Gently draw your shoulder-blades together; hold for 20 seconds and repeat three times.
Perch on the edge of your seat and stretch one leg out in front of you. Rest your heel on the floor with your foot pointing up. Lean forward gently from your hips and look straight ahead, so you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat three times and swap legs.
Sit slightly forward and twist your head and upper body to the right. Take your left arm and cross it over your body so that it meets your chair's right armrest. Rest your right hand on the back of the chair and keep your feet flat on the ground. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat three times and then swap sides.
Stand in front of your desk and put your left hand on it for balance. Standing on your left leg, raise your right heel towards your right buttock. Grab hold of your right foot with your right hand, so you feel a stretch along the front of your thigh. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat three times and then swap legs.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart in front of the wall, and rest your palms against it at shoulder height and a little more than shoulder-width apart. Take as couple of tiny steps back, tighten your tummy muscles and slowly bend your arms at thee elbows. Lower yourself until you're a couple of inches away from the wall, and then push back up. Aim for three sets of ten.
Read the original article here
Although this article has been written with office workers in mind, are we all a little guilty of sitting around too much, perhaps we should all aim to move more?
All the best Jan
Post a Comment