Being inactive is now officially recognised as an independent health risk factor. Recent studies have linked inactive behaviour with reduced mobility, being overweight or obese, type 2 diabetes,some types of cancer, cardiovascular events and premature death. So, if you suspect your lifestyle could be more active, it’s time to address the issue now.
During our lifetime we reportedly spend a staggering 99,117 hours at work – that is the equivalent of 11 and a half years of solid slog. So, with so much time spent at work, you’ll need to be creative about staying as active at work as you possibly can, even if you have an office-based job.
People should not mistake ‘being inactive’ for meaning ‘not doing any exercise’. An inactive lifestyle refers to the amount of movement and activity you do throughout the day. So
- Take a 10-15 minute brisk walk at lunchtime
- Walk more when commuting – even if it’s just a case of parking as far away in the car park as you can, or getting off the bus a stop early.
- Use the stairs – not just once in while, but all the time…
- Have walk-and-talk meetings
- Hold stand-up meetings! Conducting small or informal meetings with everyone standing up. A good standing posture will help keep your core active.
- Try resisting the easy option to phone or email a colleague – Walk-to-talk
- Make walking to the toilet part of your active break routine
- Always try to make or take phone calls standing up
- Take a 10-15 minute brisk walk at the end of the working day – it will also help you to relax for the evening
- Incorporate as many of the above as possible into your daily routine. For optimum health we should be exercising regularly and being more active in our daily routines!
Improving workplace health
Paying more attention to the physical health and fundamental needs of staff and encouraging them to make lifestyle changes such as becoming more active at work can make a big difference to general health in the workplace. If your employees are looking after themselves well they are more likely to meet targets and less likely to take time off due to stress and anxiety.