Are you one of over two million desk-based workers across Britain? If so, why not join the UK Public Health Network’s campaign to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work?
Why is sitting down bad for you?
On average, British people sit for 8.9 hours a day. Sitting for more than four hours a day can lead to health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, back ache and muscle degeneration, says the Get Britain Standing website.
Why should I #SitLess and #MoveMore?
According to the On Your Feet Britain website, research has shown that regular movement throughout the working day leads to better health, an increased ability to concentrate, increased motivation and many other wellbeing and performance benefits.
So, whether you’re still working from home, easing back into working life at the office – or a mixture – it’s important to develop good habits.
We’ve put together some tips to help you sit less and move more, even while you’re working:
1. Take a break
Remember to take a lunch break, especially if you’re working from home and find yourself sitting at your desk for longer than usual.
If you’re back in the office, remind your colleagues to take regular breaks, for example:
- Moving away from your screen for 5-10 minutes every 50-60 minutes
- Walking between rooms, or up and down the stairs if you’re able to
- Getting some fresh air, either in your garden or by taking a walk outside
- Eating your lunch away from your desk
2. Stand during phone calls or arrange walking meetings
If you can, stand up and move around while you’re on the phone. If this isn’t possible, consider other ways to talk to colleagues. Walking meetings, whether you’re in the same place, or at the end of a mobile phone are a great way to get things done at the same time as exercising.
If you’re still struggling to get away from your desk, try these short stretching routines for your back:
Step 1: Start with a straight spine before rolling forward gently, come back up and bring your arms above your head to stretch up straight.
Step 2: A chest stretch can also help keep your back moving. Hold stretches for around 20 seconds and never push beyond what is comfortable.
4: Stay active outside working hours
If you’re working from home, it’s still important to maintain a healthy work-life balance once you’ve logged off for the day.
If your gym has reopened, make time to get back into your routine. If you’re not a gym-goer, make the most of the lighter evenings by getting out for some fresh air.
5: Set realistic targets
Keeping active can help your physical and mental health, so make time to move if you can, but it’s important not to overdo it.
Some stiffness and a little discomfort is to be expected when you start a new exercise regime, but if you experience pain, this means you could be stressing your body too much.
Published on 29 April 2021