Research shows that even with appropriate levels of physical activity, sitting for prolonged periods of time is associated with a significantly higher risk of heart disease, and each hour of sitting increases chances of heart disease by 14 per cent.
Fitbit have anonymously aggregated the data from over one million Fitbit users, it was found that on average, users are sedentary for a period of up to 90 minutes at a time, with Australians spending an average of five hours and 10 minutes per day on our behinds.
How can ensure you keep moving? First take note of the times you're most likely to be sitting. The top three times as per Fitbit's data are:
1. The afternoon slump, around 2-3pm 2. The early-work period, around 10:30-11am 3. After work,7:30-8:30pm
Age is a factor as well. Total sedentary time increases rapidly between ages 20 and 24, by about an hour during those years. It continues to increase with age, by about 30 minutes from ages 24 to 30, and another 30 minutes from ages 30 to 55. Interestingly, we start to move more after 55, most notably between ages 58-66. Probably because we aren't sitting at a desk all day anymore, for the most part.
How do we stack up against the rest of the world?
Along with the data, (and the new feature on the Alta that buzzes at you every hour to remind you to move), Fitbit also have some tips on how to get moving:
- Challenge Your Coworkers: Start Workweek Hustle challenges in the Fitbit app with your coworkers, motivating everyone to get up during the day and increase their step count.
- Get a Punch Card at Your Local Coffee Shop: Support your local coffee shop and treat yourself to a walking coffee break with coworkers — the points will add up, and so will your steps!
- Email less, talk more: There are times when emails are necessary, but oftentimes a quick chat with someone will work just as well — if not better! So next time you’re tempted to shoot Jane in accounting a quick email, get up and go ask her in person instead. Your step count will thank you.
- Enjoy the Sunshine: If you have willing participants, take things outside by going for a short walk for your meeting — studies show that walking improves creativity!
- Stand up every during every hour: Make sure you get up at some point during every hour, even if just to stretch or walk around for a few minutes. Walking to meetings or grabbing another cup of coffee totally counts.
- Take the Stairs: Work in a big corporate office building? Take the stairs instead of the elevator.