It is a well known fact that exercise and regular activity have many benefits for our bodies and minds. However, over the last 20 years people have become more inactive, spending more than four and a half hours each day sitting. There could be a number of reasons at play here, including longer work commute durations, a greater number of devices at home and work that “saves us time”, increasing interaction with technology such as smartphones and streaming services during work and leisure time, etc. This sedentary lifestyle could have significant implications in our physical and mental health.
Author Xian Mayo Mauriz said: “Sitting for more than four-and-a-half hours per day is associated with an increased risk of suffering from illnesses such as heart disease”.
Let’s put this into perspective, you wake up in the morning to go to work, which means you’ll commute in your car, the bus, train etc, for an average of 45 minutes, you get to work to sit at your desk for 5 hours, then you commute back home to sit on your sofa to watch tv or scroll through social media. Right? That’s on average 45% of your day sitting down.
Long periods of sitting have been linked to cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health conditions; “sitting down slows metabolism and can cause muscle atrophy. Sitting down also causes back problems if we do it too much or sit down with a bad posture” explains Julian Lagoy.
“Being allowed an hour of outdoor exercise on a daily basis was a key part of the UK government’s strategy in the first national lockdown that began in March 2020”.
Not only our physical health is at stake here, sedentarism has been linked to mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, chronic stress which overtime contributes to fatigue, decreased motivation and a spiral of stress and anxiety that further deepens mental health difficulties.
A short 10 minute brisk walk increases our energy, mental alertness and positive mood. Regular activity reduces anxiety and stress and can increase our self-esteem, improve memory and brain function and increase life span.
In fact, healthy people are more likely to be productive, motivated to work, take fewer absences, recover faster from illnesses and more able to manage stress.
So, what if your company could encourage your workforce to be active, look after their physical and mental wellbeing in a fun way by challenging them to complete a virtual running/walking event?
As part of our challenges we offer Corporate Fitness where we promote a healthy competition for a healthier lifestyle in the workplace and as a result both employees and employers can gain positive changes both personally and as a company.
Friendship, belonging to a group and less loneliness are all also part of the social benefits that our virtual events can promote. Doing group or team activities can help meet new and like-minded people, make new friends, and teamwork can later be reflected in the workplace where collaboration with colleagues is essential.
Many companies have now joined our challenges to promote wellbeing and tackle the causes of physical and mental health problems within their workforce.
Support your employees’ health and wellbeing today!