Let’s look at research done in the last decade to understand the threat that sitting at work poses in the workplace.
The dangers of sitting too long during your waking hours:
Several studies indicate an association between sitting for extended periods and heart disease. According to a study in the “American Journal of Epidemiology,” sitting for more than six hours daily leads to an 18 percent greater risk of death from heart disease. Research conducted at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that extended sitting results in a 54 percent greater chance of a heart attack.
Other Chronic Diseases
Many studies also indicate an association between extensive sitting and cancer, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The 2008 “Diabetes” study posited that the 47 million cases of metabolic syndrome — a condition that leads to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular problems — in the U.S. are linked directly to a sedentary lifestyle characterized by extended sitting. Unfortunately, even if you exercise for the recommended 30 minutes per day, five days per week, it doesn’t compensate for sitting eight hours daily.
Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. James Levine describes sitting as a “lethal” activity, according to The Wellness News. While this may sound dramatic, studies back his assertion. A 2012 study of more than 222,000 participants found that people who spend more than 11 hours per day sitting have a 40 percent greater chance of dying in the next three years than do those who sit for four hours or less per day; participants who sat from eight to 11 hours per day had a 15 percent greater mortality rate. The increased risks weren’t affected by other health factors, such as participants’ age, weight and physical activity levels. Further, the most inactive participants in the study — those who spent the most time sitting each day — had more than twice the mortality rate of those who sat the least. Similarly, a 2011 study at the University of South Carolina found that men who were sedentary for 23 hours per week or more had a 64 percent greater chance of dying from heart disease than men who were sedentary for 11 hours a week or less.
The above excerpt is from an excellent summary article published on http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/health-problems-sitting-day-work-1827.html.
One solution is to provide employees with standing desks or even treadmill desks. But not every company is willing to make the investment in these innovative desks. Plus it seems that after the initial enthusiasm is gone, the usage of these desks declines among office workers. Sitting is still more comfortable and associated with “doing your job”.
Walking and moving around during the workday will bring huge benefits if done consistently. These methods don’t cost you a penny, either. The only thing you need to get the most health benefits from these easy activities is your unwavering commitment.
Some ideas to get you stand up and move during the day:
- Walking down the corridor to talk to colleagues instead of writing an email
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Standing while talking on the phone
- Standing during meetings
- Taking a walk during lunch hour
Company yoga classes are also an excellent way to get employees moving and away from their desks for an hour. Yoga practice can offset the health destroying impact of sitting for hours every day.
From the testimonials we get from our corporate yoga students, we know that yoga had many very favorable changes to their well-being and health. Would you like to hear some of our happy students speak about their experience of St. Louis Corporate Yoga classes at their workplace? We gathered a testimonial video collection on our Praise page: http://stlouiscorporateyoga.com/praise/
We would love to help you bringing better health and outstanding productivity to your employees. Please call us at 314-630-1677 to set up a complimentary consultation on creating the best fitting corporate yoga program for your company.
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos