Sitting @ Work: A New Perspective for Employee Wellness

January 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Quick Facts from Project Health Canada:

sititng 2

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults “accumulate a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.”1 Approximately 15 percent of Canadian adults actually meet these guidelines on a regular basis. Even more concerning is the fact that approximately 69 percent of Canadian adults’ waking hours is spent sitting – about 9.7 hours each day.

Research shows that sitting at work accounts for one-half to one-third of sitting time. Sitting at a desk, in meetings and while commuting to and from work, all contribute to a vast majority of jobs being quite sedentary. Many technological advances over recent decades have contributed to this rising trend.

Sitting for long periods of time increases the risk for:
• Premature death
• Diabetes
• Osteoporosis
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Obesity
• Cancer

Those people who are physically active on a regular basis should not presume they are immune. New research is emerging that the health risks associated with sitting for long periods is not undone by engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Employees have identified that when they sit for long periods of time they feel mentally and physically exhausted, sluggish, stressed, depressed, socially isolated and trapped. These feelings contribute to a loss of productivity, poor performance on the job and disengagement with day-to-day tasks.

It is important to encourage and support employees to get up and move for one to three minutes after 60 minutes of continuous sitting.14 This can be as simple as moving from a sitting to a standing position or from standing still to taking a few steps. Not only will there be health benefits, but also improvements in self-esteem and feelings of stress.

This piece is well referenced. Click here for more.

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