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Campaign aims to tackle office inactivity epidemic

Almost 80 per cent of UK office workers feel they spend too much time sitting down, with more than half regularly eating lunch at their desk.

These are some of the key findings which have sparked a new campaign – On Your Feet Britain – which aims to boost activity levels by getting workers off their backsides.

Sedentary behaviour is frequently dubbed “the new smoking” and the new campaign aims to turn the tide on office workers’ idleness. Research has shown that every hour spent sitting in front of the TV cancels out 30 minutes of exercise, with sedentary behaviour also linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and poor mental health.

Around 45 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work, according to statistics from the On Your Feet Britain campaign, which is a partnership between the group Get Britain Standing and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) charity.

A five-minute walk every hour has been found to prevent arterial damage in the legs caused by prolonged periods of sitting, so advocates are urging office workers to get up and walk over to colleagues, rather than contacting them by email or phone. The campaign is also promoting ideas such as standing meetings and standing desks, so that workers do not negate the hard work that they’ve done in the gym.

“Leading a sedentary lifestyle at work could be negatively impacting your performance and increasing your risk of developing health problems later in life,” said campaign founder Gavin Bradley.

“Spending less time sitting down and more time moving could benefit your health and make you more productive.”

The initiative follows on from the recent My Team 2015 campaign, a national eight week, workplace-based activity challenge that saw almost 12,000 people, at 2,300 workplaces, take part.

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Almost 80 per cent of UK office workers feel they spend too much time sitting down, with more than half regularly eating lunch at their desk.
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The campaign is promoting ideas such as standing meetings and standing desks  so that workers don't negate their gym efforts / Shutterstock.com
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