Work in an office? On your feet!

A group of experts has advised that people working in office environments should stand for at least 2 hours a day during working hours, and eventually progress to 4 hours of standing.

The recommendation – part of a set of guidelines commissioned by Public Health England – aims to counteract the health risks that come with long periods of seated office work.

Sedentary living – including time spent at work – can be fatal.

For those working in offices, 65-75% of their working hours are spent sitting. Sedentary living – including time spent at work – is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among other diseases.

Other recommendations for office workers during working hours are:
• Break up periods of seated work with standing work
• Avoiding prolonged static standing, which may also be harmful.

There is a growing interest in changing office environments so that they are no longer wholly sedentary. Potential measures employers can take include making provisions for breaks that involve standing and movement, and investing in office furniture that allows employees to work easily while standing up.

It may soon be a case of ‘Get off your bottom!’