The On your feet Britain campaign is led by the British Heart Foundation and Get GB Standing. Sedentary lifestyles have been recently found to be bad for our health in general. Sitting for more than four hours every day has been found by researchers to cause:
• Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down.
• Reduced calorie burning (metabolic rate).
• Disrupted blood sugar levels.
• Increased insulin and blood pressure levels.
• Leg muscles switch off.
For practical reasons one London ad agency used to have meetings standing up so that they wouldn’t waste too much time, and no coffee was on offer!
Carnegie researchers Dr Michelle Mellis and Dr Zoe Rutherford, provide expert advice on how to become more active in the workplace.
1. Take small-group walking meetings – this is a pleasant way to have discussions with your colleagues and get some activity.
2. Do a standing meeting – these have been reported to be more productive so they will be over quicker! Remember our time is precious.
3. Walk to a photocopier/printer at the opposite end of the corridor or on the next floor.
4. Remove the kettle from your office and walk to the staff room instead.
5. Do stretching exercises at your desk to mobilise – these small movements count as light physical activity.
6. Drink water so you get up to get refills or to go to the loo!
7. Move the rubbish bin to the opposite side of the office so you have to get up.
8. Walk over to colleagues rather than sending an email or phoning them.
9. Stand up and pace when on the phone.
10. Set a reminder on your computer or phone to stand and move around every 30 minutes – alternate between sitting and standing.
11. Take active breaks – walk around the office or go outside for 5 minutes.
12. Leave your desk for lunch – many of us are culprits of working over lunch but it’s important to take a break to boost productivity in the afternoon.
13. Go out to get lunch or drinks for the team – this will always go down well!
There are other serious risks of spending a lot of time sitting, irrespective of your level of physical activity:
Find out more at: www.getbritainstanding.org