Here is some bad news if you have a desk job… sitting down all day is bad for you. In fact, some experts have gone as far as saying that in terms of public health, sitting down is the new smoking. Yikes!
One study found that prolonged sitting is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Alarmingly, even people who are very active outside of work could be putting their health at risk by sitting down all day. So even if you jog to work every day you are not immune.
But, if you haven’t just won the lottery – you still have to work, right? So what can you do differently to tip the health scales back in your favour? Here are our top tips.
- Standing meetings
You might need to sit down if you are working at a computer. But if you are meeting with colleagues then perhaps a standing meeting is the way to go. Standing meetings are not always appropriate, but if the meeting is less than 30 minuets then staying on your feet could help reduce the overall time you spend on your bum.
- Walk and talk 1:1
If you have a regular 1:1 with a team member or colleague then going for a walk together is a good way to get away from the office and move your legs. As a bonus – a change of scenery is thought to be a great way to boost productivity.
- Stand up to take calls
If you work in a busy open plan environment then standing up to make and receive calls is a great way to get out of your chair for a few minutes every now and then. Don’t do this if you work somewhere quiet though – you will not be popular.
- Drink more water
A really effective way of getting up more frequently is to drink more water. One expert we spoke to suggested putting a jug or bottle on your desk in the morning as a reminder to keep sipping. How does this help you move more… well, the more water you put in, the more frequently you’ll be visiting the bathroom to let it out. Yes, we went there – but it works!
- Standing desks
Of course, technology has caught on to the problem of sitting down all day. Standing desks have been on trend in offices for a couple of years and new designs are making them more user friendly and affordable. Talk to your WH&S officer about getting one.
- Skip the email
We all rely on email more than we should. And while some things need to be put into writing, some things could be just as easily discussed in person. So rather than emailing the person who sits around the corner, why not stand up and pay them a visit? You get to stretch your legs and more often than not you can get an answer to your query or answer someone else’s query in half the time.