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Five Ways To Keep Healthy At Your Desk

November 2017Words by Mr Ashley Clarke

Illustration by Mr Joe McKendry

The average British office worker spends a full five years of their life sat at a desk. This, it turns out, won’t do wonders for your health. Who knew? Perhaps you’re reading this at your desk right now, sedentary and concerned. You should be – sitting for long periods of time has been linked to obesity and heart attacks to the point that a few newspapers have branded sitting as “the new smoking”. Don’t quit your desk job just yet, though; it’s more than possible to reverse the slow transformation from salaryman to Jabba the Hutt by making some small tweaks to your working day. So, without further ado, here are a few steps to follow that will not only help to perk up your office mojo, but minimise the dangers of being deskbound.

Despite all the histrionic despair surrounding our sedentary lifestyles, it is possible to offset all the obesity and death with less effort than you may expect. Mr Ulf Ekelund, a professor at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and an honorary professor at Cambridge University, says: “If you do quite a lot of exercise, then your sitting hours are protected from many of the bad consequences associated with prolonged sitting. From research we did last year, we found that those who did about 60-75 minutes of physical, moderate-intensity activity every day, such as walking or cycling, didn’t have any increased risks from sitting, even if they sat for 8-10 hours a day.” This, however, doesn’t have to mean sweating on the treadmill or working on your bench press. “You don’t need to go to the gym; it’s okay to do some brisk walking in the evening or going for a bike ride, or active transportation to or from work.”