More than 20 million people in the UK are physically inactive, according to a report by the British Heart Foundation.
The charity warns that inactivity increases the risk of heart disease and costs the NHS around £1.2bn each year.
Harriet Mulvaney experienced a heart attack at 44 and decided to make changes to her lifestyle. “Looking back on it now I would say I was very inactive. I thought I was active but actually I think I was just busy,” she says.
Women are 36% more likely than men to be classified as physically inactive – 11.8 million women compared with 8.3 million men.
The report defines “inactive” as not achieving the government guidelines for physical activity of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and strength activities on at least two days a week.
Harriet had a busy life as an HR consultant, driving an hour to work and then sitting at a desk for eight to 10 hours a day.
She would then be busy with family life but didn’t make time for activity or exercise.
“I just thought it was one of those things I’d get to in another point in time,” she says.
The BHF analysis found that the average man in the UK spends a fifth of his lifetime sitting – equivalent to 78 days a year. For women, it is around 74 days a year.
Another reason to consider a standing desk as a superb way to improve your health whilst you’re working – it’s a no-brainer!