But as much as sitting in office swivel chairs is the nature of the work, being sedentary can actually be impacting your health.
Research shows that even with appropriate levels of physical activity, sitting for prolonged periods of time is associated with a significantly higher risk of heart disease. For each hour that you sit, it increases the chances of heart disease by 14%, a staggering and frightening figure.
Based on aggregated and anonymous data from over one million Fitbit® users, it was found that on average, users are sedentary for a period of up to 90 minutes at a time – can you think of the last time you sat at your desk and didn’t move for 90 minutes? It was probably more recent than you thought.
So When Are We Most Sedentary?
You know that afternoon slump, when you’re frantically searching for a sugar-laden treat, in an effort to give you that much-needed zing? Well, that’s it. Around 2pm – 3pm is when we are most likely to lounge away. It’s also in the mid-morning, from 10:30am – 11am, and that post-work laze, when the couch calls your name and you literally don’t move from 7:30pm – 8:30pm.
Who Is Most Likely To Be Sedentary?
The biggest culprits are interestingly those in their twenties and thirties, with total sedentary time increasing rapidly between the ages 20 and 24, by about an hour – welcome to the workforce millennials! Sedentary time continues to increase with age, by about 30 minutes from ages 24 to 30, and another 30 minutes from ages 30 to 55. Total sedentary time decreases after 55, as you start to hang up those work boots.
What Country Is The Most Sedentary?
We love to sit Down Under, with Australia ranking in the top ten most sedentary countries in the world.
Our Top Tips To Decrease Your Sedentary Time:
The good news is, there are ways to decrease those desk-bound habits.
· Challenge Your Coworkers
Start Workweek Hustle challenges in the Fitbit app with your coworkers, motivating everyone to get up during the day and increase their step count.
· Get a Punch Card at Your Local Coffee Shop
Support your local coffee shop and treat yourself to a walking coffee break with coworkers – the lattes will add up, and so will your steps!
· Email less, talk more
There are times when emails are necessary, but often a quick chat with someone will work just as well – if not better! So next time you’re tempted to shoot Adam in accounting a quick email, get up and go ask him in person instead.
· Enjoy the Sunshine
There is nothing worse than being holed up inside whilst the sun is beaming brightly outside. But you too could enjoy that slither of sunshine (whilst maintaining your health) – if you have willing participants, take things outside by going for a short walk for your meeting. Or head outdoors for lunch – studies show that walking improves creativity!
· Stand up every during every hour
Make a point of standing at least once every hour, even if it’s just to stretch or walk around for a few minutes. Walking to meetings or grabbing another cup of coffee totally counts too.
· Take the Stairs
Work high above the skyscrapers? Take the stairs instead of the lift – your heart (and butt) will thank you.