Desk jockeys, take note: A team of health and fitness experts is advising office workers to stand for at least two hours every workday — or use stand-up desks — to avoid the perils of working a sedentary job.
The panel also advises workers whose jobs are predominantly desk-based should eventually progress to a total of four hours standing, in guidelines, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Medical News Today
"For those working in offices, 65-75 percent of their working hours are spent sitting, of which more than 50 percent of this is accumulated in prolonged periods of sustained sitting," write the authors.
"The evidence is clearly emerging that a first 'behavioral' step could be simply to get people standing and moving more frequently as part of their working day."
Many studies have linked sedentary jobs and lifestyles with an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Among the newly published guidelines for office workers during working hours:
• Engage in a minimum of two to four hours of standing or light walking every day while on the job.
• Break up periods of seated work with standing work, using adjustable sit-stand desks and workstations, if possible.
• Avoid prolonged static standing, which may also be harmful.
• Alter posture and light walking to reduce fatigue and musculoskeletal pain.
• Engage in other healthful behaviors such as eating a balanced diet, getting vigorous daily exercise, and not smoking.
The panel of international experts was commissioned by Public Health England and a British community interest company, Active Working CIC.
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