Obesity remains one of the biggest health challenges in the UK, causing a drain on NHS resources due to obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. These effects are put down to sedentary lifestyles, caused by long days at the office with little to no movement.
The good news is that there are steps which you can take to ensure a healthier lifestyle and combat the effects of sedentary behaviour, which we’ve outlined for you below.
Stand up more
Research by the University of Chester shows that standing up for three hours a day burns as many calories as a 10k run each week. Start standing whilst taking phone calls, make an effort to walk away from your desk and always try to get out at lunchtime, rather than sitting at your desk.
Use the stairs
Many of us are guilty of using the lift instead of taking the stairs, but it could make a big difference to the amount of calories you burn each day. Get yourself into the habit and whilst it may require some effort at the beginning, you’ll soon notice an improvement in your fitness within a few weeks.
Ask for a standing desk
If you’re serious about improving your health, you can ask your employer for a standing desk. This will not only help to boost your circulation, but you could find conditions such as back pain much improved, whilst also burning more calories than being sat down all day. Your employer may not comply, but it is certainly worth asking.
Bring a packed lunch
Convenience and a lack of time are two of the reasons why many of us by our lunch from the work canteen or from local shops, but the salt and fat content of these foods could be contributing to your weight gain. Preparing a healthy lunch at home will ensure that you know exactly what you’re eating, as well as save you a small fortune each year too.
Cycle or walk to work
Whilst cycling or walking to work on their own are not enough to combat the effects of sedentary lifestyles alone, they can certainly help. Getting in some exercise in the morning and evening will help you to feel more awake and alert, and far less likely to be lured by the comfort of your chair during the post-lunch slump. You’ll also be saving the environment as well as money spent on commuting.
Where to find out more
Get Britain Standing is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping to reduce the obesity problem caused by sedentary lifestyles. For tips on being more active in the workplace as well as how you can get your office involved, head to the website for a wealth of information and resources.