You may know this already; maybe you even go to the gym or exercise at home at night in an effect to make up for it. Unfortunately, this won’t work.
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t compensate for long hours spent in a chair just by exercising for an hour a day. If you want to counter the potential lethal effects of sitting, you must stand up and move regularly throughout the day. This doesn’t need to be time-consuming or to distract you from your work; even bending down to tie your shoes has a noticeable effect on your physiology.
When you sit, your body adjusts to the new posture. Studies show that just changing your posture from standing to sitting means:
· Calories 65% more slowly – as slow as 1 calorie per minute
· Fat burning enzymes drop by 90%
· Good cholesterol drops by 20%
· Insulin effectiveness drops, making you more prone to weight gain, diabetes and
· Pressure is put on your lumbar region and lower back pain sets in
What’s the solution? Simply move more. It’s a NEAT idea - Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT includes the everyday activities that you do to expend energy – activities that are NOT exercise. This includes making tea for the team, standing at the photocopier, walking between meeting rooms, taking the stairs and laughing at your colleague’s jokes. It also includes any movement you do while sitting at your desk.
Businesses need to take NEAT seriously, because tackling the office slump can reduce muscular-skeletal disorders, one of the most common causes of sickness absence.
Some forward thinking organisations have adopted office equipment to aid in this effort; standing or treadmill desks, chairs that encourage rocking and gadgets that make your feet fidget.
But you don’t need any special equipment to break up the monotony of six hours of sitting still. This infographic features the 10 best exercises to keep your employees moving. We recommend posting it on the walls and encouraging managers to lead by example by doing these exercises with their teams.
It may be obvious but… it’s important to remember that whenever and wherever you are exercising to check that any equipment used, including tables, cupboards or chairs, are sturdy, safe and up to the task. The aim is for you to feel fresher and healthier not to cause accident or injury.
That said, give it a go, you’ll be surprised how a small amount of movement can make a big difference.
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