Sitting too long can endanger your health

October 28, 2014

There’s been a wave of new information looking at the health consequences of sitting for long periods and the results sound a warning for anyone tied to a desk at work – or at home.

Our colleagues at the Vitality Institute recently posted an article on the dangers of sitting, featuring a link to this infographic from The Washington Post. While somewhat more dramatic, this information from IDEA Health & Fitness Association offers additional insight on the negative impact prolonged sitting can have on health.

So what’s a desk jockey to do? There are ways for employees to reduce the health hazards of sitting and to also improve productivity. Here are a few:

  • Take desk breaks – Set a timer on the computer or phone as a reminder to take two-minute breaks for light or moderate activity has many health benefits.
  • Use proper form – Sit up straight at the desk with elbows bent at 90°, relaxed shoulders and feet flat on the floor.
  • Pace –Use a hands-free headset and walk around during a conference call that doesn’t require you to be seated at a computer.
  • Encourage walking meetings – Instead of sitting in a conference room, take coworkers on a walk. Benefit from the fresh air and moderate activity.
  • Schedule stretch breaks – Break up the monotony of long meetings by stopping for brief stretch breaks. This not only gets the circulation going, but can reenergize meetings.
  • Promote walking clubs – Walking clubs are ideal during lunch breaks during the warmer months; consider year-round indoor routes for those with large enough facilities.

 

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