Reduce Sitting in the Workplace to Increase Longevity, Boost Health
We sit too much. All of us. And it’s not just Americans anymore, although we still seem to be among the worst globally. A recent study conducted by the National Institute on Aging reminds us that we work too hard, sit too much, and suffer from a severe lack of healthy workplace habits.
Although Americans are continuously searching for the elusive fountain of youth, a report by the National Center for Health Statistics provides evidence of decreasing life expectancy for Generation Z. For the first time in years, researchers predict that children are going to live fewer years than their parents despite advances in medicine and technology. Why? We spend upwards of 8 hours every day sitting in front of screens, letting our muscles turn to mush and our middles expand past the point of no return. So what effect does our sedentary lifestyle have on longevity? Apparently sitting as much as we do shortens our lives by approximately two years. Two years!
Researchers at the National Institute on Aging suggest that sedentary behavior is a risk factor for mortality independent of moderate to vigorous physical activity. This means morning trips to the gym or regular meetings with a personal trainer do little to offset the deleterious effects of sitting for the remainder of the day.
Additional data featured in the Wall Street Journal suggest that individuals who spend ten years or more in sedentary jobs, or jobs that don’t require much energy expenditure, have twice the risk of colon cancer.
Americans spend the majority of their waking hours in the workplace. This means employers have the power to improve quality and quantity of an employee’s life by encouraging movement and implementing healthy worksite practices.
So listen up employers: Embrace standing desks, treadmill desks, and mid-day exercise breaks. Make stairwells bright, appealing, and accessible so employees opt out of taking the elevator. Bring in wellness consultants to transform the culture of health at your workplace. You will not only see the instant effect of more productive, focused employees (who cost the company less), you will also effectively help individuals add years to their lives.
At Wellness Corporate Solutions, we believe good health is contagious. Give us a call and we’ll perform a health assessment for your company and recommend programs unique to you. Let’s spread wellness!