I recently read an interesting article about sitting at a desk and if this is slowly killing you. I had to laugh because I literally have this conversation at least once a week. I work in corporate fitness and my job is to get our employees moving. That may sound easy but it is not. I have threatened to run through screaming and see who follows me around the office. How about a tango line around the atrium? I've tried bribing people. People generally slump way down in their seats when they see me coming or they sit perfectly straight up in their chairs. I may have a reputation. Not sorry. Back to the article. Researchers have concluded that we will not die from sitting at our desks IF we add a balanced exercise regimen of at least one hour to each day. Whew. Crisis averted. "High levels of moderate intensity physical exercise (i.e. 60-75 minutes per day) seem to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with high sitting time," the study states. Wow. Dramatic.
Let's review the two sides that I see.
The Employee: In my industry, it is fast paced and everyone is sitting extremely close. Like, reach out and wipe your snot on their sleeve close. So, employees are hyper focused on doing their job and staying inconspicuous. Everyone has a specific task and if you fall behind, you will be told. I say all that to say, getting up every hour to walk or standing up and doing 10 squats might be an embarrassing task for some. Now, I wouldn't care what anyone thought, actually I would probably make it a point to make the people surrounding me the most uncomfortable. But then again, I would have already killed someone after having to listen to 1000 conversations on what happened over the weekend. I am now understanding why my desk is by itself about a mile from anyone. Hmm. After working all day in such close quarters, my clients just want to leave.
The Employer: We understand the need to have our employees be able to move about and stretch at least once every hour. We understand the need to have our production workers take a break at least every hour as well. We encourage movement and healthy lifestyles. I'm not just making that up in case someone in management happens to read this post. We encourage healthy living in many ways, but we can not force employees to participate. I mean I have tried it all and eventually a light will go off in someone and they will approach me.
Hopefully, through sites like mine and trainers/coaches committed to helping individuals get healthier, people will find their inner strength and desire to change their lifestyles. I promise that you can do it. So, don't sit and just die at your desk. Call me.