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A study has shown that there is confusion, misunderstanding and misconception when it comes to the new UK guidance on inactive behaviour.

The study, carried out by King’s College London, Brunel University London and the Anglia Ruskin University reveals that most Brits remain doubtful that longer periods of standing at work will have any positive impact on their health – despite calls that sitting is the new smoking.

What is the public guidance on standing at work?

The first guidelines on sedentary behaviour were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Public Health England. They state that office workers should:

  • Stand or endure light activity for two hours during each working day
  • Regularly alternate seat-based work with standing-based work by using an adjustable sit-stand desk
  • Avoid prolonged static standing, which may be as harmful as prolonged sitting
  • Change posture position regularly to alleviate possible musculoskeletal pain and fatigue
  • As well as encouraging staff to embrace other healthy behaviours, such as cutting down on drinking and smoking, eating a nutritious diet, and alleviating stress, employers should also warn their staff about the potential dangers of too much time spent sitting down either at work and also at home

The public health guidance on sedentary behaviour at work is based on all available evidence, including long-term epidemiological studies examining the effects of sedentary behaviour and how standing more can alter these effects.

New study

A new study has shown that there is little link between sitting and diabetes. However, the problem with long periods of sitting is more extensive than diabetes alone. Prolonged sitting can increase the risk of heart disease and early death, whereas by standing more at work, back pain is reduced and productivity is generally increased.

It is up to employers to appreciate the benefits of removing employees from seated positions for long periods of time. This could be done by implementing seating/standing desks, walking meetings or just by promoting taking regular breaks.

If you are a company looking to ensure wellbeing for your team members, Positura provides a personalised healthy workplace programme which includes chiropractic expertise, detailed knowledge of ergonomics and a DSE assessment. Our assessments will increase workplace wellbeing – and ultimately, productivity.

Contact us today to request an assessment or for more information, call 07794 311 201.