Several studies have compared the health outcomes of overweight, obese and/or type 2 diabetic individuals who break up their sitting time each day with small bouts of movement to those who spend their entire day seated. Not surprisingly, those who made an effort to stand up and move at frequent intervals throughout the day scored better in blood glucose levels. Better still, it is believed that the intensity of the movement isn't a factor - you just need to get up and move. This means you can reduce your risk of chronic disease and improve your health outcomes simply by doing a few stretches, going for a walk around the office, standing for phone calls, etc. The opportunities for less time spent sitting are endless!
As Professor Dunstan, from the Baker IDI Heart Disease and Diabetes Institute, explains: "When we sit for long hours on end we are getting reduced blood flow throughout the body. Muscular contraction is so important for helping regulate many of the body’s metabolic processes, like clearance of blood glucose and clearance of blood fat... We know that spikes in glucose throughout the day are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, so the more you can dampen those spikes in glucose the lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.”
As an employer or head of Health and Wellbeing at your workplace, sit/stand desks might seem like the idea solution. Unfortunately, it's not that simple - but it doesn't need to be difficult either. Your employees and colleagues need to be educated and informed about the dangers of too much sitting, and given strategies to incorporate more movement into their day.
For more information about how Health by Design can assist with your employee health initiatives, simply contact us today. We are an experienced national provider with a diverse, tertiary qualified and experienced 'in house' team of staff who are committed to delivering practical, performance based solutions.