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Stand up to your boss and leave your desk

Stand up to your boss and leave your desk

Sitting too long at your desk is bad for your health and it could be the boss’s fault.

Nearly three in four office workers believe that their health suffers from sitting down all day at work.

They also believe that bosses are crucial to solving the problem.

Back complaints are the most common worry, quickly followed by neck aches and loss of muscle tone.

Office workers also fear weight gain and reduced motivation from sitting in the one place all day.

Science supports the view that sitting is bad for you, according to Teneale McGuckin, a lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science at James Cook University.

“Increased sitting time has been associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced life expectancy.

“Links to weight gain, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and breathing difficulties, have also been identified,” she says.

Her study found that office workers would like alarms or alerts to get them to stand up at points throughout the day or computer software which would freeze the computer for a selected period to encourage them to get up from the desk.

They also suggested standing in meetings or in the lunchroom and standing desks.

The workers were adamant that any solution needed a buy-in from management.

The breaks from sitting would have to be acknowledged by bosses as normal activity and workers should not be criticised for being away from their desks.

“Interventions have to include a variety of strategies that are individually tailored and in which the people involved have the opportunity for input,” says Ms McGuckin.

“If people feel they have control of the situation in this way, the strategy is more likely to work.”



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