One of the top four preventable causes of death in the UK today isn’t alcohol or drug abuse, or high cholesterol – it’s lack of physical activity, according to the World Health Organisation.
It’s thought that the average British adult spends 50 to 70% of their day sitting, whether at a desk, while driving or in front of the television. Prolonged periods of sitting are thought to be just as bad for our health as smoking. Sedentary lifestyles can have a damaging effect on our blood pressure and our metabolism, changing how the body breaks down fat. Inactivity increases our risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers too.
Here at Good Health Centre we’re all for keeping active and encourage our patients to do so – even 30 minutes of moderate exercise several times a week is thought to be good for our joints and muscles, our mental wellbeing and can even add years to our lives.
That’s why we’re showing our support for On Your Feet Britain on Friday 29 April. This is an initiative from Get Britain Standing, aimed at office workers primarily, to get us sitting less and moving more throughout the working day. Employers pledge to encourage their staff to take part in fun physical activities at work on 29 April, all with the underlying message that many of us have habits at work that are damaging our health.
On Your Feet Britain aims to inspire workers to make simple changes to their working day that can have a big impact on their health and wellbeing – things like standing during phone calls, using the stairs instead of the lift, and walking to talk to a colleague in person instead of phoning or emailing them. There are more suggestions on the Get Britain Standing website.
It’s all about starting some new, healthier habits during our work day – and looking after ourselves better.
Of course, our Good Health Centre practitioners spend the majority of their day on their feet, treating our patients. But on Friday 29 April we’ll be encouraging our office staff and reception team to move more and spend less of their working day seated. Look out for them and remind them to ‘Wiggle It, Waggle It’!
If you’d like to know more about On Your Feet Britain on Friday 29 April or want to get you and your workmates signed up, visit the Get Britain Standing website www.getbritainstanding.org.