How to Prevent the Sitting Disease
We’re spending more time sitting than ever, and researchers say it’s wreaking havoc on our bodies.
In an interview with Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic – Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, and inventor of the treadmill desk, he states,
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
Researchers have found – and continue to find – evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses, such as various types of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Encouraging your employees to get up and move throughout the day will have immediate and long-term positive effects. The impact to our bodies from prolonged sitting can be reversed with encouragement and opportunity to move. Here are a few ways to help your employees move more throughout the day:
- Walking meetings – When there are three or fewer people in a meeting, and note taking is not necessary, encourage them to take their meeting outside for a walk.
- Standing huddle – Some departments meet daily or weekly for a short 15-minute huddle to debrief work or plan what is ahead. Instead of sitting, stand up.
- Walking routes – Look for safe walking routes from your office that employees can do in a 15- or 30-minute roundtrip. Map the routes for them and post the map next to a commonly used exit.
- Standing desks – Install standing desks to allow people to sit or stand throughout their workday. This reduction in the amount of time people sit has proven numerous benefits.
- Team challenge – Behaviors are contagious. Use that to your advantage and plan a team movement challenge that encourages (and rewards) employees to get up and move. If you want a more structured program, reach out to your Wellness Consultant, and ask them about the Race Around the World Challenge.
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