Sitting at work: The silent killer

Picture a typical office. Think about the layout and how people use that office…

 

You probably imagined a lot of desks, and a lot of people sitting at those desks working on computers. How many of these imagined offices included people walking around or even just standing up while working? Probably not many, because modern workplaces have become synonymous with sitting.

 

Most corporate individuals spend a lot of their day sitting at a desk in front of a computer. If they are not at their desk, chances are they are sitting in a meeting, or taking a break while sitting in the canteen. When they leave work they spend more time sitting in a car, and finally get home and probably crash on the couch. That is a lot of sitting, in fact a typical day in the life of a corporate can result in over 80% of their waking hours sitting or being sedentary, which is defined as not expending any energy over and above what is considered ‘resting’. Research has shown that time spent sitting is associated with obesity, heart disease, diabetic risk, and increased risk of premature death.

 

You may think that this does not apply to you – but it is likely that your behaviour is more sedentary than you think. You may also think that being sedentary while at work does not matter as long as you make a concerted effort to exercise everyday, but more and more research is showing that it is not enough. Being sedentary during the day has its own health implications REGARDLESS of how much exercise you do outside of work!

 

In order to simply maintain your basic health, you need to make sure you are being active regularly throughout the day, everyday. Being a regular gym-goer or cyclist or runner may keep you fit but will NOT protect you from the health related risks of being too sedentary. Luckily, being active throughout the day does not require much time or effort, and does not need to detract from your work. Simply breaking up the time you spend sitting on a regular basis will go towards improving your health. This means that simply getting up from your desk every half an hour will start protecting you against the risk of developing poor cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health.

 

Who are you? – According to your activity profile:

 

  1. The Corporate Athlete

You exercise regularly and intensely, or even consider yourself an athlete in your free time; yet you spend the majority of your work day sitting.

  • You need to ensure that you are putting mechanisms in place in your work environment to allow you to be active and less sedentary throughout your day, without disrupting your productivity so that you can protect your health, as well as keep fit.

 

  1. The Active Couch potato

You are someone who manages to get to the gym some or most days a week, yet you spend the majority of your work day sitting.

  • You need to ensure that you are putting mechanisms in place in your work environment to allow you to be active and less sedentary throughout your day, without disrupting your productivity so that you can protect your health. Attempting to increase the intensity and regularity of your exercise will further enhance your health as well as your fitness.

 

  1. The Couch Potato

You are someone who spends the majority of your day sitting at work, and are not managing to make time to go to the gym on a regular basis.

  • You need to ensure that you are keeping active in the workplace, as well as start incorporating regular exercise into your daily schedule for general health and well being. Not doing so will put you at high risk of developing obesity, cardiovascular disease or even of premature death. You need to start taking care of your health!

 

  1. The Bad Boss

You are in a managerial role in a corporate workplace and are not providing your employees with opportunities to be active during the day or enforcing this behaviour regularly.

  • You need to start implementing a workplace intervention to promote the health of your staff. Not doing so is detrimental to the health of your employees, and WILL start resulting in decreased productivity. The change needs to come from you!

 

How can you start changing your sedentary lifestyle?

 

Dr Alessandra Prioreschi completed a PhD in Exercise Physiology, specifically researching the effects of sedentary behaviour on health and well being, and designing interventions to combat this type of lifestyle. She has attended and presented at many international conferences and published internationally, gaining knowledge from around the world regarding sedentary behaviour. As part of the team from Exercise Solutions, she is offering individualised health solutions based on a comprehensive assessment of your activity patterns, your diet and sleep patterns, as well as your fitness levels and activity goals. Whether you want to start becoming more active, or simply want to ensure that you maintain your health, Alessandra will be able to assist you to reach your goals. Alessandra also offers seminars at your workplace to inform managers and employees about the health implications of a sedentary work environment, and provide some office-based solutions.

 

Start taking care of your health! #StopSitting

 

Get in touch now:

Dr Alessandra Prioreschi

alessandra@exercisesolutions.com

0839890070

@Getup.Getactive

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