If couch potatoes are people who sit too long in front of their TVs, are modern office workers desk potatoes?
An Australian study reported in Circulation magazine shows a strong link between heart disease and the amount of time spent sitting watching TV. Study participants who watched more than four hours per day had an 80% greater risk of death from heart disease.
So if sitting in front of your TV for four hours a day isn’t healthy, what about sitting at an office desk for eight?
Some workplaces have addressed this issue. Among the ways they’re getting office workers to move around more:
- Instituting “no phone, no e-mail” periods. For ten minutes each hour, no one can communicate via phone or e-mail. It forces workers to get out of their chairs and walk if they need to talk to a colleague.
- Creating decentralized office space. Workers have a “home” desk, but they’re allowed to work wherever they want in the office.
- Taking away individual trash cans. Workers are forced to get up to throw away trash in central locations.
- Scheduling daily stretches. Employees have to stand up and participate in a five-minute stretching period.
The Australian study also caught the attention of the folks at TrekDesk. The company manufactures office work stations in which employees stand. Treadmills can even be put underneath so that an employee can walk and work at the same time.
“Within one generation we have engineered movement completely out of the workplace,” said TrekDesk CEO Steve Bordley in a press release.
Do you think your company would take any of the above steps to help office workers be less sedentary? Let us know in the Comments Box below.