According to the Department of Health, nearly 70% of Australian adults (i.e. almost 12 million adults) are sedentary or have low levels of physical activity.
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Dr James Levine
The cost of chronic illness to Australia is more than $15 billion each year. The occurrence of chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes is rapidly growing; 280 Australians diagnosed with this preventable illness every day. Research demonstrates that prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. Remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do.
Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death.
The human body was designed to move… and to keep on moving. The only way to reduce the risk of chronic diseases is to break up the amount of time we spend sitting each day with exercise.
The Simple Ways to Increase Activity While Working
- Park a block further away from the office
- Hop off the bus/ train a stop early
- Take the stairs or exit the lift early
- Regularly stand up and stretch
- Take phone calls while standing – walk around if possible
- Walk across the hall to speak with a colleague rather than sending an email
- Use an exercise ball as a seat. Balancing will engage your core and work those abs!
- Take your lunch for a walk- enjoy it in the fresh air
- Engage in ‘walking meetings’
- Switch to a standing working station
- Increasing Wellness at Work
The modern workplace is seeing increased employee flexibility, healthier work environments and improvements in technology to support wellness. From ergonomic office furniture, stand up desks, in-house gyms to healthy snacks in the kitchen or vending machines and apps to track and remind users about mobility – there are many ways to encourage us all to be healthier.
Corporate wellness programs are designed to support employees in understanding health risks and choosing healthy behaviour at work to improve their overall fitness and reduce their health care expenditure. These programs can reduce the cost of hospitalisation, emergency room visits, specialist visits, and surgeries. Moreover, corporate wellness programs result in a decrease in absenteeism, increase in productivity, and improvement in the quality of life of employees.
If you are looking for more ways to get your staff active and healthy at work and would like to participate in Tour de Office, we are delivering more flexible, custom event options designed to suit your organisation’s size, culture and budget – find out more and GET INVOLVED!