Sitting at work is a modern invention. Up until about 200 years ago, sedentary activities were primarily reserved only for persons of high standing like pharaohs, emperors, and kings. The human being moved in the course of work, stood still or squatted. Only about 50 years ago did hours of sitting become part of daily life at work… a development that has taken our bodies off guard.
We move too little and sit too much. Even that well-meant bit of sport in our free time in the evenings and at weekends does not always effectively compensate hours of sitting at the desk or in front of a PC. Research has shown that exercising for 30 minutes per day isn’t enough to offset a typical office worker’s level of inactivity. During a working life, we spend about 80,000 hours sitting. Global studies show, on average, we sit 7.7 hours a day, and some results estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day.
So, what’s the result of all this sitting? Chronic back pain, slipped disks, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more have all been linked to being sedentary for too long during the day. One analysis that looked at the findings from 18 studies, found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least.
That’s why businesses around the globe, which are focused on health and wellbeing, have zeroed in on helping their workers incorporate movement into their workday. Studies show, the key to using movement to improve your health, is to make sure you do it frequently throughout the day.
Here are five ways you can incorporate movement into your workday to improve your overall health: