A campaign to encourage UK employees to get more active in the workplace whilst raising awareness of the adverse effects of sedentary working, will take place at the end of April.
Organised by Get Britain Standing, an organisation which aims to promote the benefits of active working, the On Your Feet Britain day will involve a day of free activities to encourage people to #Sitless and #MoveMore.
In preparation, the Active Working Summit 2016 took place in January to help promote the message to employers that staff should move around more during their working day.
Speaking at the conference in January, Gavin Bradley, Founding Director of Active Working, the organisation also behind the April campaign told delegates - made up of employers, HR Directors and Occupational Health practitioners - that sitting is a 'learnt' behaviour. Specifically, he recommended implementing several steps to bring about a healthier workforce including building evidence, education and equipment, making the business case, changing behaviour and culture and public health policy.
In June last year, Active Working CIC and Public Health England published a joint statement on the health risks of sitting too much at work.
According to Personnel Today, Dr Stacey Clemes, senior lecturer in human biology at Loughborough University told conference delegates of her study of office workers which found that those who accumulate high volumes of sitting (8 hours or more a day) were linked to poor health outcomes. Specifically, her research showed that 60% of 'daily sitting time', took place at work, with the majority of workers remaining sedentary for more than 10 hours.
"This highlights the importance of the workplace as an environment that promotes sitting, how much sitting time is acceptable, also how much you break up your sitting time," she said.
The On Your Feet Britain campaign recommends several ways to become more active at work:
- Stand during telephone calls
- Stand or take a break from your computer every 30 minutes
- Use the stairs
- Eat lunch away from your desk
- Walk over to speak to co-workers
- Hold a walking or standing meeting
- Stand at the back of the room during presentations.
Charles Alberts, Senior Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits said: "This is potentially powerful campaign that has been designed to engage with a large demographic of workers across the UK. With such a large proportion of our waking hours spent at work, any positive behaviour change brought about in the workplace can have a significant impact on an individual's health and wellbeing."
He added: "Many employers actively want to engage with their workforce when it comes to health and wellbeing initiatives and not just those who are fit and healthy, but those who are lower down on the fitness scale, too. Get Britain Standing's campaign has the potential to encourage more employers to promote active workplace initiatives which in turn, will help bring about cultural change that will deliver benefits for many years to come."
On Your Feet Britain takes place on April 29th.