Workers sitting ducks for illness

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Published: Friday 27th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Many people spend only half an hour on their feet in the office and fear being sedentary is damaging their health, according to a new survey.

Research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Get Britain Standing showed two in five, 38%, confessed to emailing someone sitting next to them and more than half, 52%, regularly eat lunch at their desk.

Both organisations are launching a campaign to encourage office staff to be more mobile at work, citing that sitting down too long can lead to health risks such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The poll of 2,000 workers, revealed 45% of women and 37% of men spent 30 minutes or less on their feet, with 62% in total fearing it would have a negative effect on their health.

A third said they even put off going to the toilet while at their desk.

Lisa Young, project manager for the BHF’s Health at Work programme, said: “We’re all guilty of being too glued to our screens sometimes, but these results show just how far the couch potato culture has infiltrated the workplace.

“Too many of us are tied to our desks at work, which could be increasing our risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”

Dr Mike Loosemore, head of exercise medicine at University College Hospital, told the BBC: “Inactivity and sedentary behaviour is one of the biggest challenges we have in public health today.

“Compared with 100 years ago, our levels of activity are tiny, the number of manual jobs are continually reducing, even if you dig a road up you sit in a little tractor.”

Gavin Bradley, founder of the Get Britain Standing campaign, called for workers to be more aware of their “sitting calculator” and stand up more often.

He said: “This survey shows too many office workers are stuck to their desks. We all know a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us, we just don’t realise how bad it is.

“Leading a sedentary lifestyle at work could be negatively impacting your performance and increasing your risk of developing health problems later in life. Spending less time sitting down and more time moving could benefit your health and make you more productive.

To raise awareness, the On Your Feet Britain campaign will stage a fund-raising day on April 24.

Published: Friday 27th March 2015 by The News Editor

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