Are you doing enough physical exercise?
A new report from the World Health Organisation suggests that just over a quarter of adults worldwide aren’t doing enough physical activity ¹. This can lead to numerous health issues including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and musculoskeletal problems.
The comprehensive study, which surveyed 1.9 million people across 168 countries, showed that 27.5% of adults worldwide were insufficiently physically active with this figure rising to 37% for high-income Western countries, including the UK and USA. One of the reasons given for the high levels of inactivity in wealthier nations was the higher proportion of people with sedentary jobs and the use of motor transport ¹.
Given the long hours many of us spend sitting down while at work, it is essential to look at ways combat this issue in the workplace to create a healthy work environment that encourages a more active lifestyle.
Here are some easy ways to stay active at work:
Swap to a sit-stand desk
Sit-stand furniture encourages greater levels of activity by making it possible to switch from a seated position to a standing one at the push of a button so you can change your working position throughout the day. A study conducted by the University of Chester measured the effects of standing for at least three hours a day for a week. It showed that by doing this every day for a year you burn "about 30,000 extra calories…the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year" ². Active sitting chairs are another smart choice, allowing you to keep moving even when you have to sit down. Find out how to convince your manager to buy you a standing desk!
Hold walking or standing meetings
A walking meeting is exactly what it sounds like: a meeting that takes place during a walk instead of in the office. Alternatively, if you need to be at a table, why not try a standing meeting? With a sit-stand meeting table, you can easily hold productive stand-up meetings.
Organise office fitness activities
Arrange with colleagues to go on a lunchtime walk for some light exercise or organise an after-work running club. Perhaps your company would consider running morning aerobics classes on site – it never hurts to ask! Sporting challenges are another great way to get everyone involved and moving, introducing a bit of healthy competition into the office. It could be anything from the British Heart Foundation’s Stair Climb Challenge to the local half-marathon or even the Three Peaks Challenge.
Take the stairs
Opting to take the stairs instead of the lift is a great start to becoming more active during your work day. Did you know that you burn ten calories by only going one floor up? (Urbansome, 2015 ³)
Cycle to work
Cycling to work is a healthy way to kickstart your day and saves you money on petrol and parking. Ask your company about the government’s Cycle to Work scheme, which makes cycling more affordable and offsets the upfront costs of a bike.
At AJ Products we think staying fit and healthy should be something that anyone can do. That’s why we’re a member of ukactive. We want to make every workplace happier, healthier and more active!
¹ BBC News (2018) Lack of exercise puts one in four people at risk, WHO says [online] https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45408017 [accessed September 2018]
² BBC News (2013) Calorie burner: How much better is standing up than sitting? [online] available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24532996 [accessed September 2018]
³ Urbansome (2015) How Many Calories Does Walking Up the Stairs Burn? [online] accessed from: http://urbansome.com/how-many-calories-does-walking-up-the-stairs-burn/ [accessed September 2018]
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