Today the global office worker is more sedentary at their desktops than ever. If you sit down a lot, you are at high risk of dying from a lifestyle disease caused by inadequate exercise.
According to a US survey last year based on 8,000 adult office workers, there is a direct relationship between time spent sitting during the day and your risk of early mortality and a shorter life.
Persons who are sedentary for +13 hours a day are twice as likely to die from lifestyle diseases - cardiovascular disease and diabetes - compared to people who are sedentary for less than 11 hours.
The study points out that persons who often sit for periods of less than 30 minutes have 55 percent lower risk of dying from lifestyle diseases compared to persons who are sedentary for periods of more than half an hour.
This spring, Danish Health Authority published a major study on the health of the Danes which document that also Danes are still more sedentary than ever before - at their office work and at home as well.
Almost a third of Denmark's adult population does not comply with the WHO minimum recommendation for physical activity for adults over 18 years: 150 minutes of intensive/moderate physical activity or minimum 75 minutes strong activity weekly.
Persons who are sedentary for more than 13 hours a day have 100 percent higher
risk of dying from a lifestyle disease compared to persons who sit down less than
According to this new survey, half of the Danes are sedentary for more than eight hours a day - for young Danes between 18 and 24 years, it is almost 80 percent.
Danish and international researchers and experts agree that is a very good idea to interrupt your sedentary work sessions and leisure patterns with active breaks - for example, go for a short walk or use the stairs instead of the elevator.
The US study concluded that office workers who prioritize sitting at the desk in sequences of maximum half an hour obtain the lowest risk of early death caused by a lifestyle disease.
Get on your feet
"The easiest way to counteract and prevent sedentary work is very simple: Get up on your feet! Lift your standing desk and work on your feet in sequences that suit you," is the good advice from global experts.
When you get up and work instead of sitting on your office chair, you´ll increase your calories burned by 20-50 per hour depending on your size and weight.
Standing meetings automatically motivate participants to keep strictly to the point -
only very few appreciate standing around the meeting table for two hours ...
It may not indicate much in your daily ´2000 calories budget´, but if you get used to standing up and working at your desk for an hour every morning and an hour in the afternoon, you´ll burn extra 40-100 calories - and loose up to five kilograms over a year.
Two hours of standing work a day will reward you with the same calories burned as 2 x 14-minute stroll, 2 x 5-minute run or bike ride or 2 x 10-minute fitness.
6 movement tips
This is how you easily can change your sedentary office work and create movement and extra calories burned during your daily workflow:
Arrange some meetings standing or walking
Standing meetings automatically motivate participants to get to the point and to communicate briefly and exactly - very few people appreciate to stand around the meeting table for two hours. Walking meetings inspire you to spontaneous brainstorming and to turn new ideas and opportunities that may grow big and important.
Take breaks at regular intervals
Stay proactive and plan to get on your feet and move every half hour. Inspire your colleagues to do the same. Speak to a colleague, take a short walk to the water machine or just stretch your legs. Use stairs instead of the elevator.
Face-to-face instead of emailing
It's easy and convenient to post another email and keep your receiver to the screen. Take our time a couple of times during the working day to address a message to a colleague verbally instead of electronically.
Go for a walk at lunchtime
Drop your usual lunch break and go for a walk with some colleagues. Your walk will add some thousands to your recommended ´budget´ of minimum 10,000 steps every day.
Extend your way to work
Is your job too far away for a bicycle ride, you could park your car one kilometer or more away or leave the train or bus a stop earlier and enjoy a walk before and after your working day.
Challenge your colleagues
Turn your personal office fitness exercising into a social project including your colleagues. Start up an engaging competitive moment - download the ´Map My Walk´ app on the mobile and begin competing with your colleagues to reach most steps in the office during the week. ●
Businessinsider.com: Why sedentary lifestyle is so bad for you
CNN.com: Yes, sitting too long can kill you, even if you exercise
Youtube.com: 10 Stretches For Office Workers & Sedentary People