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  • Writer's pictureTristan

How to tackle physical inactivity?


Physical inactivity is one of the most important burdens in our society at the moment. A sedentary behaviour of more than 6-8h per day was associated with an increase in the risks of developing type 2 diabetes, some cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, as well as risks of premature death. However, undertaking regular moderate physical activity for 60-75 minutes per day could compensate for the negative effects of excessive sedentary behaviour.

Any behaviour including a time period of more than 30 minutes being seated is considered sedentary behaviour. Most of the time in workplaces, employees spend their working day seated, with minimal breaks allowing them to reduce their sedentary behaviour. From this observation, it is now key to provide a solution to allow employees to improve their health and wellness.

For a successful intervention, it is important to consider the social standards that strengthen inactivity, the environment, as well as the funding available for new adapted equipment. It is also key to include employees at the heart of the intervention to allow them to understand its impact and give feedback for potential improvement. Following the listed advice, making available standing desks to employees in their workplace, as well as providing educational sessions would allow them to make real changes to their habits and lifestyle to improve their health and wellness.

Positive results were found by a study investigating the efficiency and feasibility of providing standing desks as well as educational sessions and motivational support. One of the recommendations from this study was to replace 2h from an 8h working day with active breaks or the use of standing desks.

A surprising benefit of using standing desks was found by Munir et al. (2020). They estimated an investment return of £2.56 for every £1 spent. This could stimulate more companies to opt for this innovation which seems costly at first glance. The great investment return is explained by the increased total yearly productivity. Additionally, some people who tried standing desks reported a lowered shoulder pain, an overall relaxation sensation, and an improved focus.

To conclude, it is important to consider the limiting factors for decreasing inactivity and suggest accordingly feasible and sustainable changes which fit the environment.


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