Edinburgh University recently released information that had some astounding content…middle-aged male office workers spend more time sitting down than pensioners.
Their study found 45 to 54-year-old men spend on average 7.8 hours per weekday sitting down, compared to 7.4 hours for men aged over-75.
Sedentary work is the main reason for the inactivity, with sedentary time (ST) defined as time spent in any waking activity done while sitting or reclined, including working, eating, reading, watching TV or spending time on a computer.
Experts are calling for action to tackle high levels of ST, which has been linked to health risks including cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes. High levels of sedentary time – more than seven hours a day – increases the risk of an early death, cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes and some cancers, even if people are physically active at other times of the day.
Lead researcher Tessa Strain said: “Large parts of the population are dangerously sedentary, something we have underestimated. We need to tackle high levels of sedentary time in early and middle age, when patterns may develop. Our findings suggest that changing habits in the workplace could be an appropriate place to start, given how much time we spend sitting there every day.”
A recent review by other researchers found “tentative evidence” to suggest sit-stand desks could reduce work sedentary time, at least in the short term.