Stop what you are doing and get up from your work desk

Taking regular breaks from prolonged sitting during work can help employees gain better physical and mental health.
By: | January 16, 2023

The image of employees sitting at their desks and typing away at their computers, rightly or wrongly, has long been associated with a productive workforce.

However, is it time for managers to ask their employees to stop what they are doing and to get out of their chairs?

Five minutes of light walking every half hour can help alleviate some of the increased risk that comes with sitting for long stretches of the day, according to a study published in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, reported CNN.

Keith Diaz, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of behavioural medicine at Columbia University Medical Centre, said, “There are so many of us who lead inactive or sitting-based lifestyles or have sitting-based jobs. There are these social norms where if you up out of your desk, people think you’re not working.”

Employees who sit for hours on end are at highly risk of developing chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer. However, besides just physical health benefits, taking regular breaks aways from prolonged sitting also reduces fatigue and improves mood, and may go a long way to creating happier, healthier, and more productive employees.

READ: Creating a healthier, happier and more productive workplace in 2023

Diaz explained, “Sitting is an occupational hazard and a healthy employee is a more productive employee. Just sitting at your desk and grinding away for eight hours actually may not be all that great if you’re just concerned about the bottom line about your work productivity.”