It is estimated that the Australian population spends 80% of their working hours seated.

Most Australian adults sit for 8 to 10 hours per day.

Is this you?

If yes, you may wish to sit less to help reduce your risk of chronic disease.

There is growing evidence that prolonged sitting leads to poorer health outcomes, including the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Sitting for long periods of time also leads to poor muscle tone and weight gain.

Even if you exercise regularly, including up to an hour every day, this activity does not offset the negative effects of sitting throughout the day.

In fact, the World Health Organization lists inactivity as the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide.

So what can you do?

Experts recommend standing, moving or stretching every 30 minutes to one hour.

In particular, workers are encouraged to ‘accumulate two hours a day of standing and light activity during working hours, eventually progressing to four’ hours per day (Buckley et al, 2015).

Even if you are physically active on a regular basis, standing, stretching and moving throughout the day can make a real difference to your overall health and wellbeing.

Want some examples as to how to incorporate more movement into your day?

These 10 tips can help:

  1. Park your car further away from work, at the station, at the shopping centre
  2. Eat brekky/lunch/dinner standing
  3. Rather than driving to work, catch public transport
  4. Organise stand-up or walking meetings
  5. Encourage your boss to invest in a stand-up desk; if not, prop your computer/laptop on top of some books
  6. Read the paper standing
  7. Stand when answering the phone
  8. Rather than emailing colleagues, walk to their desk and speak to them in person
  9. At home, stand or stretch during the ad breaks
  10. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to help you get up and move

Whatever you do, the main message is to incorporate more movement into your day.

Making small changes on a daily basis is achievable and possible. Even a short walk of 2 minutes can help improve your overall wellbeing.

Of course, there are many proven benefits of walking for longer durations (in 10 – 15 minute blocks), including a lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Walking also increases your energy levels, improves your overall mood and relieves depression and anxiety. For even the most inactive, this is a small and achievable change that can be realised and maintained by anyone.

So what will you do today to help you stand up, sit less and move more throughout the day?

We hope you enjoyed this post and until next time, wish you all great health and wellbeing.

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References

Australian Government Department of Health. (2017). Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines#apaadult

Buckley P, Hedge A, Yates T, Copeland R.J, Loosemore M, Hamer M, Bradley G & Dunstan D.W (2015). The sedentary office: a growing case for change towards better health and productivity. Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-094618

World Health Organisation Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/pa/en/