By now we all know that we sit too much at work. Those who work in an office typically spend 65% to 75% of their working hours sitting, half of which is in prolonged periods of sustained sitting, according to new research from a group called Public Health England.
The study, which included experts from the UK, US and Australia, calla for a revolution in the workplace through the use of sit-stand desks, standing-based work and taking regular walks.
There is nothing really revolutionary in that information, sitting has long been associated with a significantly higher risk for all sorts of bad things:
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death,” says Dr. James Levine, a professor of medicine at the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic, in his book “Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It”.
What is new is the suggested amount of time office workers should spend on their feet in a day to ward off the negative effects of sitting. The study suggests a minimum of two hours – with a goal of reaching the ideal four hours.
The problem, according to the study, is that we are creatures of habit and our entire working culture is designed around sitting. They suggest making getting up out of our chairs an integral part of our routines: taking phone calls while standing, having walking meetings, or even just setting a timer to remind yourself to get up and walk around.