Between increased technology and the average American working longer and longer hours as the norm, most of us have fallen into a sedentary lifestyle. Most workers sit on the commute to work, sit once they arrive at work, sit on the ride back home from work, and then are tired from a long day so what do they do when they arrive at home…sit some more! Let’s take a minute to outline the risks of sitting for so many hours throughout the day and then we’ll discover a few ways to counteract these effects and get up and move.
According to an infographic by Dacadoo:
- 80% of jobs require NO physical activity
- An office worker sits an average of 12 hours per day
- 1 in 10 premature deaths were the result of inactivity (about the same as smoking)
- Sitting 4+ hours can result in 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease
- Sitting 6+ hours increases risk of lung cancer by more than 50%
These statistics truly show us how sitting can put us at risk for major disease. So what can we do to increase our activity towards a more active lifestyle when we need to spend 8+ hours a day at our sedentary jobs? Here’s a few tips:
- Walk/bike to work if possible. If you are close enough to work that you can walk or bike, this is a great way to start and end your day!
- If you do drive, park further away from your building entrance. This will help you get in some extra steps and movement.
- Ditch the elevator, take the stairs. This can be done when you arrive and leave, and is effective to and from lunch to work off some of that food you just ate.
- Invest in a standing or treadmill desk. This is great because you can work while standing, instantly eliminating a chunk of your sitting hours.
- Walk to a coworkers desk to communicate rather than using the telephone system.
- Stand up and do a quick stretch every hour. Go for a quick walk around the building every other hour or when possible.
If you’re an employer looking to promote wellness and want to create an engaging way to get your employees to get up and move consider a corporate fitness challenge and/or provide your employees with the educational materials needed to realize the risks of a sedentary lifestyle.