UK Health Ministers have been campaigning to get people to do more exercise, with good cause; the way the body deals with sugar and fat during prolonged periods of inactivity has been linked to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. With some people sitting for 12 hours a day between work, watching TV, or their daily commute, we could be building a health time bomb.
Studies show that sitting causes a sharp reduction in the breakdown of fat, which means you are 64% more likely to die of heart disease. The constant muscle activity of standing allows the body to keep blood sugar levels stable, a proven way to maintain concentration and focus.
Dublin-based physical therapist Mark O'Brien says: “I'm seeing a huge rise in the number of people attending my clinic with posture-related complaints that have developed as a result of prolonged sitting. Just getting off your backside for an extra three to four hours a day can reduce these problems.”
In addition to walking around the office frequently, there are a number of practices every desk worker should keep in mind: keep your back straight, your shoulders back and your computer monitor level with your eyes whenever possible. You should try to stretch your neck, shoulders and back every once in a while to keep blood flowing and prevent stiffness.
There is also a selection of ergonomic office furniture on the market, such as the Varidesk, which can be adjusted to allow you to stand or sit at different periods throughout the day. Find out more at uk.varidesk.com.