"Sedentary"(of work or a way of life) characterized by much sitting and little physical exercise.
BBC News Link to "Office workers to Sedentary"
So there we are then - the news is littered today with the surprising news that most of us are to "Sedentary" at work. So firstly I decided to "Google" - the word to confirm its meaning to find that the definitions really do not pull any punches!
- Deskbound, Still, Inactive, characterised by much sitting and little physical exercise, one definition even goes on to say that a "Sedentary Lifestyle spells "bad news for Hips & Thighs"! - I`ll be honest none of this sounds great at all does it.
The bad news doesn`t stop there and this latest study by Get Britain Standing goes on to tell us that too much sitting at work can cause Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Poor Mental Health and even some cancers.
So there we have it then - after 26 years of working in an office environment - and making sure my printer, stapler, hole punch and bin - were all in easy reaching distance of my sitting position I am starting to feel as though I am lucky to have made it this far!
So what do I do to address this situation, well according to the study I need to make major adjustments to what I am doing.
Firstly I need to reduce the amount of time I spend sitting and ensure that I find ways to force myself to stand and move around. Standing up whilst on the Telephone, or going to see my colleagues rather than phoning or emailing - all sound like great ideas to both improve my health & fitness as well as making myself more sociable!
However what if I really want to go for it in a big way and try to "undo" some of the damage of the last 26 years. Well our friends at "On your Feet Britain" suggest the use of a standing desk, which are starting to become fashionable of late.
One area I feel this study misses is it fails to look at the disadvantages of standing and yes as proved standing can lead to you burning 50 more calories an hour than sitting down, but prolonged standing can equally have some serious long term health risks. Many studies have proved over time that pro-longed standing particularly on hard floors can cause major lower limb problems and blood circulation problems that can lead to other more serious problems. Therefore it has been recommended that the use of Anti-Fatigue Matting or Anti-Fatigue Flooring to promote subtle movement of the body whilst standing.
Looking on the bright side from this study it goes on to say that the damage done by excessive sitting at work cannot be "undone" by hours at the gym - so theres my excuse for not going!