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Stand up for health

Eurest | Health and wellbeing |  28 April 2015

stand-up-for-health

Chances are, you’re reading this sitting down. Well, for the sake of your health, you should stand up right now. Yes you might look a little strange peering at your screen while standing up but it’s honestly good for you.

New research has revealed that British office workers need to spend longer on their feet because sitting for long periods at work is linked to a host of health problems. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and poor mental health have all been linked to sedentary behaviour and long periods of sitting in particular. It’s thought that prolonged sitting slows the metabolism and affects the way the body controls sugar levels, blood pressure and the breakdown of fat.

The research from the charities Get Britain Standing and the British Heart Foundation reveals the staggering fact that a big chunk of the workforce — 45% of women and 37% of men — spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work. We’ve talked before about the fact that more than half of the UK working population eats lunch at its desk, advocating taking a proper break away from your workload to properly refresh you for the afternoon — well here’s more encouragement.

Stand up regularly. Walk around more. Build reasons to get on your feet into your working day such as standing meetings or a stroll at lunchtime. Send your documents to the printer at the far end of the office and stretch your legs on the way. When you give your eyes a break from staring at the screen give your body a breather too and stand for a while; try to do that every half hour. Go over to talk to someone rather than sending an email or calling. Take the stairs instead of the lift.

These small changes can bring big benefits; it’s estimated that workers could lose 2.4kg (5.2lb) a year by standing up for just an extra 30 minutes a day over that year.

At Eurest we believe in taking a stand on important issues such as health, knowing that a well workforce is a fundamental part of a thriving, effective business. So start standing up for health today.

Gallagher, J. (2015) Office workers ‘too sedentary’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32069698
Biswas, A. et al. (2015) Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Available: http://annals.org/article?articleid=2091327
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