By Ian Bushfield
The office chair is worse for your health than smoking.
The Health Risks to Inactivity
It may sound like a cliché to say that sitting is the new smoking but there are serious and well-documented health risks to sitting for long periods of time throughout the day.
From the National Post, June 4, 2015:
Medical researchers have long warned that prolonged sitting is dangerous, associated with a significantly higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression, as well as muscle and joint problems. Some have gone on to say that the office chair is worse for your health than smoking and kills more people than HIV. Even working out vigorously before or after work may not compensate for extending sitting.
In fact, an expert group commissioned by Public Health England recommended, after looking at the best available evidence, that desk based workers should aim initially for two hours per day of standing or light walking during the workday, with a goal of reaching four hours per day.
The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends adults get at least two and a half hours of physical exercise per week, and says that every step counts.
If you’re not active now, adding any amount of physical activity can bring some health benefits. Take a step in the right direction. Start now and slowly increase your physical activity to meet the recommended levels.
While getting that activity in might seem like a challenge or distraction, there’s some evidence that employees who get more activity might even be more productive.
Step up for Steptember
One simple way to reach that goal is to sign up for Steptember – our annual fitness challenge to take 10,000 steps per day for 28 days. Reaching that goal will put you on the path to reaching those healthy lifestyle targets.
And because we know that the most successful way to achieve your goals is to have a support group, you sign up in teams of four and your team competes against other teams in your office, in the province and across the world, as tens of thousands of people take part in Steptember each year.
A healthy workforce has a positive impact on the overall performance of an organization. Employers told us at the completion of last year’s event that they saw increased team work and morale, strengthened interdepartmental communication and reduced sick days.
Previous year’s participants have told us that:
- 80% experienced increased physical activity
- 33% lost weight
- 86% had increased energy levels
- 20% were able to handle stress better & had improved sleep patterns
- 80% chose to make a difference by fundraising
- Importantly, 97% of participants said they would participate again.
So motivate your employees to join Steptember – encourage them to sign up individually, or sign up your entire office.
And as an added bonus, if you sign up multiple teams we can offer bulk rate discounts, just get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.