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Being more active with in your workplace.

Being active during working hours can be difficult if your job is mainly office based. However, doing anything that cuts the time spent sitting can really make a big difference to your health over time.

Breaking periods sat down behind the desk can help concentration levels, help general health and improve weight management. Indeed, research suggests that simply standing up, about 35 times a day or so throughout the day, could counteract the cardiovascular health risks (heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes) related with constant sitting.

So - why not try setting an alarm on your calendar to remind you to stand up and move every 10 minutes or so, or move your phone away from your desk so you have to move to answer it.

Increasing physical activity during working hours can help burn off those extra calories - see how many times in a day you can use your feet - whether it's simply getting off your chair and walking a few steps across the office or taking the stairs not the lift, or using the toilets in another part of the building, or parking your car further away from the office. Small amounts of activity really do start to add up.

Another plan that can help reduce some of the sitting is to hold standing-only office meetings. This tends to discourage avoidable discourse and make meetings more useful in less time. Making slight alterations to your individual work space can also make a difference. For example, you can:

· Use an exercise ball for a chair. Unlike sitting in a chair, sitting on an exercise ball engages your core muscles and helps improve balance and flexibility. Occasional bouncing can also help your body interact with gravity to a greater degree than sitting on a stationary chair.

· Alternatively, use an upright wooden chair with no armrest, which will force you to sit up straight, and encourage shifting your body more frequently than a cushy office chair.

· Use a standing workstation. Standing rather than sitting while doing your work can also be a helpful option.

To find out more about reducing the time you sit down please visit:

Do you know your Heart Age compared with your actual age? Find out here: UKheartage.

Have you heard about the Workplace Challenge - a completely free initiative to encourage workplaces to be more active!

Find out more at: Once signed up you start logging sport, physical activity & active travel to earn points - the more activities logged the more points! You can have a friendly competition against colleagues, other workplaces and friends, or just for fun!


If you would like further information, please consult the 'helpful links' section on this page.

Fact Zone

For ideas and information about walking to work:
You burn 50 more calories an hour when standing than when sitting
Attempting to cope with stress can often lead to unhealthy behaviour, such as smoking and drinking too much
Psychological problems, including stress, anxiety and depression, are the underlying reason for one out of every five visits to a GP
About 14 million work days are lost because of work-related stress, depression and anxiety
Spending too much time sitting puts your health at risk


Helpful Links