Sitting too much is bad for your health. Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death. This is not aimed to scare you! But the simple truth is that getting up every hour and doing some small amounts of exercise will actually help your health and improve your overall fitness. Small amounts of exercise at work little and often can help you in the long run! And it isn’t as daunting as a 45 minute gym session.
So why is sitting down at work so bad for us? Sitting too long can slow the metabolism which is the key thing needed to break down body fat. Most adults will be sitting down during the day for 10 hours. This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing assignments, travelling by car, bus or train, AND this doesn’t include sleeping!
One of the largest pieces of research to date done by the NHS on the subject involved almost 800,000 people. The study compared people who sat the least and those who sat the longest. Findings showed that compared to those who sat the least, the people who sat the longest had a:
- 112% increase in risk of diabetes.
- 147% increase in cardiovascular events.
- 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events.
- 49% increase in death from any cause.
What can you do?
The sources of sitting down all day can start when you are growing up. Between the ages of 5-18 are some of the most important years to stay on your feet and stay active. Keeping active at this age is easy to do, just by being active around the home, classroom or community can help greatly when growing up. Adults 19+ need to try and reduce sitting while travelling, at work and at home. They can do this in a number of different ways;
- Stand on the train or bus.
- Take the stairs and walk up escalators.
- Set a reminder to get up every 30 minutes at work.
- Alternate working while seated with a standing desk.
- Place a laptop on a box or similar to work standing.
- Stand or walk around while on the phone.
- Take a walk break every time you take a coffee or tea break.
- Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing or calling.
- Swap some TV time for more active tasks or hobbies.
- Cycle/walk/run to work
Did you know?
If someone goes to the gym or walks for 30 to 45 minutes a day, but sits down the rest of the time, then they are still described as having a ‘sedentary’ lifestyle. This is because having a healthy lifestyle means you need to stay active throughout the day. Keeping active can be easy. Next time you are on your break at work split your hour up into two sections. Sitting down to eat your food and walking to stay active.
What are GymCompany doing?
To show you just how easy it is to get some exercise GymCompany have adopted doing 3 minutes of any body weight exercise on the hour every hour. We have all been doing this for over 2 weeks now and are starting to enjoy those 3 minutes a day as it gives us a slight break and helps reboots our minds and bodies, gives you a chance to chat with your colleagues and helps you focus on work tasks. Try it in your office!