We all know that we need to move more and sit less. But did you know that sitting has been dubbed “the new smoking”? This is because sitting for many hours every day can lead to a variety of health issues. The dangers of sitting all day include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels. The World Health Organisation has named “inactivity” as the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. It is estimated that a sedentary lifestyle causes 3.2 million deaths around the globe. Just as with smoking, once identified there is a lot we can do about this epidemic.
So what can be done to remedy this issue? Unfortunately it’s not enough to just do some exercise after work or go for a walk at lunchtime. You’ll still spend many hours sitting down, which is the problem.
If you employ lots of office workers who generally spend most of their day sitting at their desks, maybe even through lunchtime, here are some ways you can help them move more and be healthier in the process.
5 tips to overcome the dangers of sitting too much
Encourage your employees to move at least once every hour or so. This can be achieved by removing bins from under desks and making printers a short walk away from any desk. Another option could be to encourage people to set timers to remind them to get moving.
Use sit/stand desks. Adjustable desks that are easy to reconfigure are a great solution. You don’t want people to stand for hours either, as this can lead to back problems or varicose veins but standing for half an hour a few times a day can really increase your employees’ overall health. Standing for a while increases muscle strength in the legs, abdomen and bottoms while using up sugars and certain fats in the body. This will lead to a reduction in the risks of your employees developing diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
These types of desks don’t need to be expensive. Here’s a link to the one I use.
Remove seats from meeting rooms. This not only has the benefit of people standing during meetings, but usually cuts down on meeting times in the process. You could install high tables if people want to take notes. Another option is to have walking meetings.
Use high tables with no chairs in break areas. As with meeting rooms, have high tables in break rooms. This means people can still gather around a table with a cup of tea or coffee, but do not sit down during break time.
Encourage your employees to do desk exercises. If it becomes company culture to do desk exercises regularly during the day, then people won’t feel self-conscious to do so. So, to prevent everyone feeling that they’re being stared at, make it a thing that everybody joins in with.
How Workwell Practice can help
Here at the Work Well Practice we can help your company to keep its employees healthy. We can conduct a wellbeing audit for your business, create an action plan and follow it up. We also provide a wide variety of workshops and talk to your employees about the dangers of sitting too much. If you would like to find out more, why not get in touch? You can phone Sam at 075 222 777 22 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org .