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Are you an Office Worker? You may be too sedentary!

On Your Feet Britain says sitting for long periods at work is linked to a host of health problems, which are not undone by working out in the gym. It is calling on people to stand regularly, walk around more and embrace ideas such as standing meetings or standing desks.

Experts described inactivity as "one of the biggest" challenges in health. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and poor mental health have all been linked to sedentary behaviour.

The effect is found even in people who class themselves as fit, such as those who cycle to work, if they also spend long periods of time sitting.

Prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism and affect the way the body controls sugar levels, blood pressure and the breakdown of fat.

The campaign is a partnership between the group Get Britain Standing and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) charity.

Their survey of 2,000 office workers suggested:

  • 45% of women and 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work
  • More than half regularly eat their lunch at their desk
  • 78% office workers felt they spent too much time sitting down
  • Nearly two-thirds were worried sitting at work was having a negative impact on their health

Gavin Bradley, from Get Britain Standing, told the BBC News website: "We're all victims of our environment, we've taken a lot of activity out of the workplace and we're sitting longer and longer. We need new and innovative ways of addressing the issue. Stand up when you're on the phone or in meetings, do everything you can to avoid sitting."

Office inactivity

5.2lb (2.4kg) - estimated amount of weight that can be lost by standing up for an extra 30 minutes a day for a year

  • 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work
  • 45% of women spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work
  • 50% regularly eat their lunch at their desk

Source: Get Britain Standing and British Heart Foundation

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