Obesity (and all the related health problems) is a growing problem in the 21st century. Many people associate this with improper diet and lack of exercise, and this undoubtedly has a huge part to play, but does it tell the whole story?
Tying in with lack of exercise is the issue of sedentary behaviour. Office workers sit for an average of 10 hours a day, and this chronic lack of movement (enforced by poorly set up work environments) is a big problem. Prolonged and excessive sedentary behaviour has been related to increased risk of: Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Mental Illness, Cancer, Backache, Thrombosis, Obesity, and Muscle Degeneration. [link]
Suffice to say, we should all be doing more to sit less and move more to help limit such health risks.
Considering we spend most of our time at work, it is very important that our daily work routine includes opportunities to be active. Breaking up sitting time with bouts of activity, and finding reasons to get up off your seat is a great start. However, what is really required is a holistic approach, one which will allow you to stay moving for your entire day.
Clearly it would be difficult for most of us to squeeze a gym session or a run into our work day (we might like to do this, but I don’t think our bosses would be too happy). Therefore, what we should try to do as much as possible is encourage a type of movement called NEAT or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, developed by Professor James Levine at the Mayo Clinic. In other words, small, non-strenuous movements which cause the generation of heat.
The principle behind this idea is nothing new; moving around requires energy, which comes from calories stored in your fat reserves. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight, simple. However, sometimes it is not easy to remember to move around, or some people might not even feel able or allowed to do so. Luckily, using a Sit-Stand desk allows you to move around whilst you continue to work, so it has never been easier to NEATen up your work routine!
It is well documented that standing burns more calories than sitting (50 per hour to be exact) [link]. Now, this may not sound like much, but if you consider the amount of time you have sat at your desk over the past 2 years, and imagine if you had stood for half of that, imagine how many more calories you would have burned off. In fact, standing during weekdays for a whole year burns off as many calories as running 10 marathons! Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Convinced? Great! But there is one small caveat to make with regards to standing at work. Whilst we all know that sitting all day is bad for us, it’s not healthy to stand all day either. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of mixing it up! Something you may also want to consider is an anti-fatigue mat. These fantastic products encourage micro-movements, which increases blood flow to your legs, and reduces stress on your joints, allowing you stand for longer with no discomfort. I would highly recommend our Imprint™ range, available in both Deluxe and Standard editions, each coming with a 10-year warranty as standard. Also make sure you check out our brand new desk-riser, the YO-YO Desk™ available in 3 sizes, and launching the first week of July (FREE TRIAL available).