You’re an avid exerciser, hitting the gym five days a week. You think, “I’m doing great with my active lifestyle.” Well, think again! According to recent research highlighted in an article by Men’s Health, it may not be that simple. “The more hours a day you sit, the greater your likelihood of dying an earlier death regardless of how much you exercise or how lean you are,” says the article.
For example, a “standing” worker (salesclerk) burns about 1,500 calories at work, whereas a person with a desk job might expend only 1,000 calories. Although 500 calories may not seem like that much of a difference, extending that over weeks or years may go a long way in explaining why people gain 16 pounds within 8 months after beginning sedentary office work. Check out the study behind the startling numbers.
Even worse, it’s not just weight gain we’re talking about. Sedentary lifestyles can also impact heart health; lead to muscle stiffness; contribute to poor balance and mobility; and result in lower back, neck, and hip pain.
Corporate wellness programs can help reverse these effects. Implementing regular stretch breaks, office walking programs, trained and certified staff to educate employees, and small-step incentive programs will help encourage employees to move their sitting-versus-standing spectrum in the right direction and improve the company bottom line.
What are you doing to get your employees out of their seats?