Sitting is the new Smoking
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Now, thanks to awareness campaigns, we all know that smoking is bad for us and can have very serious consequences on our health: lung cancer, heart disease… But what if sitting had similar effects? What if something we all do every day was actually dangerous for us?
We know that sitting can trigger back pain and bad blood circulation, and we are all probably suffering from it from time to time – Keep in mind here that massage can do miracles to reduce back pain and improve your blood circulation, we’d be happy to help you and your teams!
Getting back to sitting, or more accurately sitting for long periods of time with no physical activity, according to the World Heart Federation and Global Advocacy for Physical Activity (GAPA), the lack of physical activity reduces concentration and focus, and consequently productivity. The consequences of sitting in the workplace then directly impacts the bottom line of businesses!
Going even further, according to an Australian study conducted on more than 200,000 people, adults who sit for 11+ hours a day have a 40% increased risk of dying within 3 years (from any cause), compared to adult who sit for less than 4 hours a day. Have a think for a minute: how many hours do you work every day? I have to say that, as an entrepreneur, with heavy workload and long days, the 10-hours-days are quite common. And I’m sitting while I work.
The most disturbing fact from this study to me is this one: ‘Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity.’ Yes, ‘independent of physical activity’, Which means that despite your 30 minutes morning run, if you sit for 10 hours during the day, you are still at risk. So yes, it is important to maintain your daily physical activity – and the World Health Organization recommends that adults take part to at least 2.5 hours of physical activity every week to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers – but it is also key to sit less!
Now, how do we reduce the amount of time we spend sitting? And given that we spend a third (or more) of our week days at work, how do we reduce the amount of time we spend sitting at work?
Mind It’s team gathered 3 tips for you:
Try walking meetings: instead of sitting around a table, why not try some walking meetings? Just put your phone in your pocket and go for a walk in the neighbourhood with the one or two persons you are meeting with. You will soon see that you will get more creative, listen to each other more carefully, focus on the discussion and be more likely to make a decision towards the next steps! Give it a go and let us know!
Take your lunchbreaks: Do you eat at your desk? Why not trying to take a short break and go for a walk or eat outside for once? You would get back to work refreshed and more productive for the afternoon! We also organise Mindful Walks during lunch breaks, and invite you to go for a walk in your neighbourhood and coach yourself to get out of some situations you might be stuck into! Contact us if you want to know more!
Use sit-stand desks: We partnered with the Leeds-based business AB4 to offer you the best combination for wellbeing in your organisation: sit-stand-desks and wellbeing workshops! We are both passionate about promoting wellbeing in the workplace and decided to join forces to help your workplace support high standards of productivity and low absenteeism. As interiors and office accessory specialists, AB4 can help improve your workplace in many ways, and the one we especially like is Sit-Stand Desks! Sit-stand desks are a great and affordable solution to keep you healthy and active at work. You can electronically adjust the height of your desk, in a quick and efficient way, for your desk to adapt to your needs throughout the day. Good practice is actually to change from sitting to standing every 30 minutes! We especially love AB4’s sit-stand desks because they are easily adjustable, and can be adapted to your own office design: you can select from a range of top finishes or use your own!
Get in touch with AB4 for any further information: they would be happy to come on a free consultation to discuss your wellbeing visions and practices and to help you ensure you are doing what you can to keep your teams well in your workplace!