Experts are warning of the health dangers of too much time spent sitting down at work, advising that sedentary workers should spend up to four hours a day on their feet.
The research, co-commissioned by Public Health England and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, used available studies to suggest guidelines for employees who undertake prolonged periods of sedentary work, such as office workers.
An increasing body of research has emerged linking physical inactivity to increased risk of a number of conditions, such as increased blood pressure, coronary heart disease, depression and even cancer. Some evidence suggests that the impact of sedentary working lifestyle may even affect those who are otherwise active outside of work.
The international group of researchers behind the latest paper – from the UK, US and Australia – suggest that desk-based workers should aim to stand or undertake light activity, such as walking, for two hours per day during working hours, aiming to increase to four hours.
They add that this could be achieved by regularly breaking up seating-based work with standing-based work, taking short active breaks, or through the use of Scandinavian-style sit-stand desks.
The authors write: “Companies should also promote among their staff that prolonged sitting...may significantly and independently increase the risk of cardiometabolic diseases and premature mortality.”
A national campaign, Get Britain Standing offers advice on active working. For more information, visit the Get Britain Standing website.