Safety and OSHA News

How not to get fat at your cubicle

A recent study shows over the last 50 years, the average U.S. worker’s daily occupation-related energy expenditure has decreased by more than 100 calories. A UCLA researcher has suggested one way workers with sedentary jobs can keep from packing on the pounds.

Toni Yancey calls it Instant Recess which is also the title of her book on the same topic.

The 10-minute exercise routine includes both strength training and aerobic exercises that can all be done within the confines of the average work cubicle. The moves include tricep kicks, knee lifts and hamstring curls.

Yancey suggests people do the exercises twice a day, once mid-morning and again in the afternoon.

Does it work? A 2008 study followed 271 workers who did the exercises every workday. The results after a year:

  • the average waistline decreased 0.6 inches
  • men, in particular, lowered their body mass index (BMI), and
  • women showed a decrease in diastolic blood pressure.

In the middle of a five-year study of the program, participants maintained their BMI, while workers who didn’t participate had their BMI increase.

Is this all really necessary? Just how inactive is the average U.S. desk worker? We should be taking about 10,000 steps a day. The average American walks a little more than 6,000 steps.

And healthier workers are safer workers who tend to get injured less on the job.

Now, the only thing you’ll have to be concerned about is workers getting injured while they’re doing their at-work workouts.

Does your company encourage pre- or mid-shift stretches or exercises for workers? Let us know in the comments.

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