Studies have shown a link between a sitting too long and ill health. By adopting small changes throughout your working day you will see positive changes in your health and well being.
As accountants chances are you spend a considerable portion of your day sitting behind your desk. Research from Loughborough University has found that the average person spends 65% of their waking hours sitting down.
While it may be comfortable and the most conducive position to do your work, according to research by the NHS, spending too long sitting down can negatively impact your health, increasing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. To avoid risking your health, the NHS advises that you should exercise regularly, suggesting at least 150 minutes a week.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought that you have to limber up and run a marathon, remember, unlike the day job, it doesn’t have to be too taxing; small changes can make a big difference. AccountingWEB member Coolmanwithbeard suggested a handful of useful tips to get you moving in your office, writing in any answers, “make your own brews, and position the printer/fax/shredder so that you have to walk to them to use it - that way you are up and moving about regularly.”
CABA has recommended ditching the desk to bring more activity into your working day, this follows on from a survey on over 2,000 office workers by the British Heart Foundation where 78% felt that they spend too much of their working day sitting down. Something as simple as getting up and walking around the office or stretching is better than no exercise, and it is a welcome interruption from running after the HMRC customer service help line. Before you know it, by making these small adjustments to your daily life, you will see the changes in your fitness and also in your capacity for exercise.
To reverse the effects of the sedentary culture, CABA reported how Virgin Media is introducing sit-stand desks at its contact centre in Sheffield. Standing up instead of sitting is a small change that AccountingWEB member Brunel adopted, and soon after he moved on to a more energetic working stance, “I started standing all day before Christmas, and then the treadmill in January. I used to do 2 to 3,000 steps a day in the week; now it's 10,000 every day, except when I cycle to work.”
For those of you working from home, AccountingWEB member Paul Scholes suggests that there’s plenty of opportunity to burn calories, commenting “I sit by my back door, open all summer, and the moment I see a bloom that needs snipping, washing that needs bringing in or bird feeders that are empty, I'm off down the garden.”
By making subtle changes to your working stance, you’ll be amazed by the benefits that it will have for your health. See what simple change you can make during your working day by being more active.
What do you do while working to get your blood circulating?
About Richard Hattersley
Richard is AccountingWEB's Practice Editor. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.