How many hours a day do you sit at your desk?
If you work in an office, the answer is probably “too many”.
As soon as you sit down, electrical activity in your body virtually stops and your rate of burning calories slows to just one a minute.
The enzymes in your body that burn fat drop to a lower level, and after two hours of sitting, your levels of good cholesterol fall by 20 per cent and your risk of diabetes rises.
So what can you do to have a healthier day in the office? Here are a few suggestions:
- After you’ve been sitting for an hour and a half, try to find a few tasks that involve standing up. Perhaps you can do some filing, make a round of drinks for your colleagues, take a short walk to see a colleague to discuss a project, and make some phone calls while you’re standing up (or better still, walking)
- It helps if you have a standing workstation in the office as well as conventional desks. Even one standing desk can make a difference. You can then swap desks with a colleague so that you both get a chance to stand up for a couple of hours a day. Even better, see if your employer will provide everyone with a desk that converts from a sitting position to a standing position.
- In some progressive offices, “wellness balls” are available instead of chairs. You balance on the ball and it exercises your core muscles, offsetting some of the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.