Why does sedentary behaviour matter?

Office chairs in a workplace - sedentary behaviour

More evidence is emerging to say that, even if you are regularly active and getting your 150 minutes physical activity a week, spending a lot of time sitting down can be bad for your health.

Sedentary behaviour includes all the time you are sitting or lying down while awake and that typically requires low energy expenditure. It includes sitting at a desk, spending long periods driving, sitting down on public transport or sitting in front of the television.

Sedentary behaviour has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease, as well as obesity and weight gain. Often, working in an office means we spend long periods sitting but you can make a change to both you and your colleagues’ behaviour.

16 ways to get on your feet

Taking place on Friday 28 April 2017 On Your Feet Britain is getting people moving more and sitting less. Try these ideas to get you and your colleagues sitting less and standing more:

  • move bins away from desk so you have stand up to throw things away
  • use the toilets furthest away from your desk
  • park at the other side for the car park
  • share our Are you sitting too much? quiz
  • walk to your colleague's desk instead of phoning or emailing
  • get off the bus, train or tube and walking part of the way to work
  • download an app or have a reminder to stand up regularly
  • stand up during phone calls
  • eat lunch away from your desk
  • stand at the back of the room during presentations
  • have one less chair than people at meetings
  • organise regular standing or walking meetings
  • run a lunchtime walking group
  • organise a No Email Day for staff in your office
  • run our new Stair climb challenge
  • organise a Pedometer challenge or using a pedometer to see whether you’re taking at least 10,000 steps a day.

Read more about how to get active in your workplace on our website or find out why we should sit less on the NHS Choices website.

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