The life of an office worker tends to involve sitting at a desk all day. We've heard a lot about the long-term impact of these many hours of sitting, but there is finally some advice from experts on how to ward off sitting disease -- stop sitting, for at least two hours a day.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine recommends that office workers engage in light activity, or simply stand, for at least two hours a day. The experts say this should be doubled to four hours over time.
Sitting disease has been linked to a slew of health hazards, including heart disease, cancer and an earlier death.
"Even if you're meeting your physical activity guidelines, you cannot undo the risks of prolonged sitting," Gavin Bradley, director of Get Britain Standing and one of the study's authors, told Mashable. He and his group are working on expanding the campaign, which will soon launch in the U.S. Their guidelines state that people who sit all day have twice the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a 13% increased risk of cancer and 17% increased risk of premature death. These numbers are compared to those who sit the least.
"Companies should reconsider the culture around taking regular breaks and think about whether meetings could be held standing up or walking," said Jenny issuer, an occupational physical therapist and spokesperson for Britain's Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. She added that people who sit for prolonged periods of time are more likely to suffer from joint stiffness and back pain.
One way Bradley combats these health risks is by taking all his calls while standing.