While sitting might (or might not) be the new smoking, it’s still high on the list of concerns for most office workers.
Research from Queensland’s James Cook University found that nearly 3/4 of office workers believe that sitting all day has a negative impact on their health. The most common complaints related to sitting all day were back and neck pain, loss of muscle tone, weight gain and lack of motivation.
“One hundred people said that more sitting time worsened their health,” explained lead author Teneale McGuckin, a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at JCU.
This survey backs up the science, showing that increased amounts of sitting time are associated with cardiovascular disease and reduced life expectancy.
The study asked participants of ways to reduce their sitting time, with suggestions ranging from setting alarms to prompt standing, using software that freezes the computer, using standing desks and taking standing or walking meetings and lunches.
“Whatever the strategy used, they said it needed to include education on the benefits and it needed buy-in from management,” McGuckin added. “People said the breaks have to be seen as a normal activity and there shouldn’t be criticism if they are away from their desks.”