Here’s How to Combat Sitting All Day at Work

Here’s How to Combat Sitting All Day at Work

It’s not just you: others feel the same way.

A study done at James Cook University has found that nearly 75% of office workers feel that sitting all day is bad for their health. And the answer to this problem, they feel, lies with their boss.

PhD candidate Teneale McGuckin, who is a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at JCU is the brains behind the research. She surveyed 140 office workers on how they felt sitting about sitting for long periods of time.

“One hundred people said that more sitting time worsened their health,” McGuckin said. “Back complaints were the most common worry, then neck aches and loss of muscle tone. People also talked about weight gain and that sitting down all day reduced their motivation.”

Health Risks

Does science support the workers claims and feelings? Yes. Increased sitting time has been associated with a whole host of health risks including a higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, a reduced life expectancy, increased weight gain, as well as a greater chance of developing some cancers.

Part of the trouble though, is that workers don’t always feel that rising and leaving their desk is a good thing to do. Some fear they’ll be criticized for appearing to neglect their work. And others simply find they forget to get up and stretch.

Possible solutions? The workers involved in the study suggested using alarms or alerts to remind office workers to stand, or using computer software that freezes the computer for a selected period of time, demanding that you do something else for a minute.

Standing for meetings and while eating lunch was also suggested, as was having the chance to use a standing desk.

It’s recommended that we aim for walking 10,000 steps a day, or 5 miles. What better way to do it than taking a stroll down the hall after reading all those emails?

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