In the face of increasing evidence that sitting too much is leading to serious illness and obesity, the NHS website has published a set of guidelines on how (and why we should) sit down less.
The piece explains how some people are sitting for over 7 hours a day and 10 hours for the older generation. This in turn slows down the metabolism, reduces our body’s natural ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down fat. In short, sitting is making us overweight and ill.
I Want A Standing Desk UK Blog recently reported on Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock’s vision for the future of the NHS being preventative so it comes as no surprise that the new guidelines include the recommendation that people integrate standing desks into their own working days. Mr Hancock is a standing desk user himself and recommends that teams undertake their meetings at standing desks. The health secretary explained that standing meetings tend to be shorter and more efficient.
The NHS have published the Start Active, Stay Active Report which recommends breaking up sitting with short two minutes bouts of activity. A Panel of experts have suggested taking “an active break from sitting every 30 minutes.” This can be accomplished with a variable height standing desk whilst allowing you to work through the sitting break.
“Breaking up sitting time engages your muscles and bones, and gives all our bodily functions a boost – a bit like revving a car’s engine,” says Professor Dunstan.
The NHS has included the following tips to reduce sitting time:
- work standing
- stand on the train or bus
- take the stairs and walk up escalators
- set a reminder to get up every 30 minutes
- stand or walk around while on the phone
- take a walk break every time you take a coffee or tea break
- walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing or calling
- swap some TV time for more active tasks or hobbies
I Want A Standing Desk UK Blog has written about UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s belief that physical activity is “miracle cure” here.