And it’s killing us.
So what can most of us do when we have to sit while commuting, sit while at a desk, sit while eating, and sit while watching TV?
Well, there’s good news for those who haven’t opted in to one of those stand-up desks. Thanks to the UK government’s Public Health England and a community advocacy group, Active Working CIC, we now know how long we need to stand during work to make a difference in our health.
“According to the recommendation, written by health experts and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people should aim to stand at least two hours a day during working hours. This doesn’t have to be all at once, but can be broken up into small periods of standing, pacing, fidgeting or walking—anything but sitting still,” it read in this article from Time.
Two hours a day is just a step, the report says. A standing goal of four hours is recommended.
“Even if you can’t leave your desk long enough to take a walk, trips to the break room or restroom count—as does anything that breaks up a long stretch of time in a chair … This is so new, so we’re very excited about seeing whether some of our theories that we’re testing will become clearer,” says John Buckley, from the Institute of Medicine at the University of Chester and lead author of the paper in a statement. “And hopefully by then, more of the world will be standing when they read the results.”
For more motivation to stand throughout the day, see this detailed infographic, courtesy of MedicalBillingandCoding.org: