Did you know research suggests employees spend as much as 70% of their time sitting.
Did you know prolonged sitting-sedentary behaviour is associated with increased mortality, i.e. a shortened life span?
We used to be active
It is estimated we used to walk as much as 10-20kms a day.
It is likely you do not walk half of that each day, it is likely you are struggling to fit any kind of daily physical activity in your day.
Clients often tell me, there simply are not enough hours in the day to include physical activity.
Perhaps your focus is wrong. Perhaps your focus should not be to find more hours in the day, it should be to replace inactivity for activity?
Swap or replace?
A recent study of 200,000 participants found that when participants replaced or swapped low-to-sedentary activities for moderate activities they achieved a significant improvement in their health.
The study reached a number of conclusions, they included:
- Watching TV and total sitting time are each independently associated with increased mortality risk.
- Standing, walking and moderate to vigorous physical activity are associated with decreased mortality risk.
- Each hour of sitting a day is linked to increased mortality of between 2-4%.
- Replacing 3hours of sitting each day with standing offers a cumulative decrease in all-cause mortality risk of 12-18%.
- The same health benefits that came from swapping sedentary time for walking, also apply to swapping sedentary time for better quality sleep (for those sleeping < 7hrs a day).
If you are struggling to find time to get active, refocus your attention on activity replacement-swapping.
Activity at work
You spend as much as a third of your time at work.
And it is likely, it means you are spending a lot of time sitting at your desk, sedentary.
The replace-swap activity concept is generating discussion, in particular around the value of switching a sitting desk for a standing desk.
Research suggests the desks that offer most benefit are those that get you to alternate between sitting and standing. Those that encourage you not just to stand but to also regularly move.
Ideally you should move every 1-3 minutes every 30minutes, however 5minutes every 60minutes is a reasonable target to begin with.
What is next?
- Wherever you are, at work, travel to or from work or at home aim to sit less and move more.
- Rather than trying to create additional time in your day, refocus on switching-replacing low or sedentary activity for moderate activity.
- And if you have a job that involves lots of sitting, investigate whether or not you can switch from a sitting desk to a standing-sitting desk. You never know it just may save your life.