With the Olympics only 3 weeks away and my mind drawn to all things active, (he says, slumped at his desk recovering from meeting another challenging client deadline), I started to think about how much time I actually spend sitting down, sedentary at my desk.
I was somewhat alarmed when I read some research from Canon UK and ICM which showed that office workers spend an average of 5.5 hours per day sat at their desks. Assuming your employer allows you some time off, this equates to a staggering 1,250 hours per year!
It also drew my mind back to a fascinating BBC Horizon programme earlier this year, in which Dr Michael Mosley experimented with the principle of whether “enough” exercise was just 3 minutes (of pretty high intensity workout) per week? Whilst the programme did conclude that for some, there were definite benefits in this tiny amount of exercise, the item that stuck most in my mind were the “fidget pants.” These were a natty device, worn to measure how much you actually moved around in normal day to day activity.
In the programme they concluded, that by just changing our habits in the office slightly; e.g. standing up whilst talking on the phone, taking the stairs instead of the lift, jiggling our legs etc when sitting down, we could burn up to an additional 500 calories per day.
You can’t turn on the television these days without getting the message that as a nation we are all getting fatter. The simple fact is we are either not burning enough calories or we are consuming too much food and drink. All of us at SM1 are committed to being “Office Olympians”, but with McDonalds and Coca Cola as major sponsors of the Games, me thinks they’re not making the second part of that equation any easier!