Tag Archives: Exercise

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!’

Men’s health in focus

Men’s Health Week recently took place Since men are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol to hazardous levels and be overweight or obese the focus is on leading a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy dad

The sad fact is that one in five men don’t make it to retirement age. The biggest single cause of death in men is cancer, and 75% of premature deaths from coronary heart disease among men.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital for avoiding these sorts of diseases, yet men are more likely than women to smoke and drink alcohol at hazardous levels. Over 65% of men are overweight or obese. Participation in activity amongst men declines with age: 83% of men aged 16-24 met the recommendations for physical activity, compared with 57% aged 65-74.

Think about this next time you grumble about the failing NHS. Are you part of the problem?


Even modest exercise helps the elderly

Even short periods of low intensity exercise can benefit life expectancy for elderly people.

For the average person an exercise program of 30 minutes for five days a week (or 150 minutes per week) has been shown to reduce the risk of death by 30%. However, the ‘pros and cons’ of exercise for elderly people has not been so clearly determined.

Now, a French study has shown that in the elderly the risk of death also decreases with greater and more regular exercise. Over 1,000 people were enrolled in the study at age 65 in 2001 and followed-up for 13 years. Although 10% died during this period, the risk of death was calculated to be 57% lower in those whose activity level was equal to or higher than 150 minutes a week.

There were other significant findings too – notably that starting or restarting physical activity during retirement reduced the risk of death by two-thirds.

As a simple rule at least 15 minutes of physical activity for five days a week would be a suitable first target for the elderly. This could include brisk walking, cycling or swimming. Ask your pharmacist if you need advice.


Are you an office potato? Try a little exercise…

Almost half of women (45%) and two fifths of men (37%) working in offices in the UK spend less than 30 minutes a day walking around at work, according to the ‘On Your Feet Britain’ campaign, which wants to encourage office workers to get off their backsides and improve their cardiovascular health.

Office potato

The campaign kicked off on April 24 with offices being challenged to find inventive ways of getting employees on their feet, by holding walking meetings, getting outside at lunchtime, or simply taking five minutes to stand up and stretch.

A poll of 2,000 UK office workers found over half (52%) regularly eat lunch at their desk and almost a third (31%) sit for so long they even put off going to the toilet!

Almost eight in ten (78%) of those surveyed say they spend too much time sitting down at work and 62% fear this could have a negative impact on their health. They are quite correct. Sedentary behaviour can increase your risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease.

To sign up to On Your Feet Britain visit www.onyourfeet.org.uk

Walking football all the rage for the grey wave?

The banks may have more to answer for than plunging the country into financial crisis. The new sporting craze of ‘walking football’ was created in 2011 to help keep older players involved in the game for longer, and rose to prominence after featuring in an banking advert last year.

Walking football

Games are played at a slower pace to reduce the threat of pain, discomfort and injury, with players briskly walking through matches and reaping a multitude of health benefits along the way, according to Aston University researchers.

In an ageing society, with rising levels of obesity and the growing numbers of people with late onset diabetes, this more sedentary version of the beautiful game has the potential to make a significant impact.

In the UK around 22% of men die before the age of 65. Although physically active men have a 20-30% reduced risk of premature death, by the age of 55-64 only 32% of men say they take the recommended half hour of exercise five times a week.

If you have itchy feet go to www.walkingfootballunited.co.uk to find a club near you.