Work is a daily grind for many people. Heading to a 9 to 5 desk bound office to spend the day. While that’s a part of life, there are some simple things we should be doing at work that can be life changing.

Moving more and sitting less has been a motto embraced by the Heart Foundation to promote healthier and longer lives.

Two out of three (66.9%) Australians aged 15 years and over do very little exercise.
A recent Canadian study found more than half of the average person’s waking hours are spent sitting, whether at work, rest or play;
In turn this exposes us to a heightened risk of heart disease, diabetes and poor mental and emotional health among other chronic health conditions;
The Canadian study found that people who sat for prolonged periods of time had a higher risk of dying from all courses – even those who exercised regularly;
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease, and alarmingly more than 65% of South Australians insufficiently active.

What are the ways we can become more active?
– What this highlights is the need for people to take regular breaks from sitting during the course of their day;
– We need to encourage people to get up and moving, even if it is just for a couple of minutes every hour;
– Evidence suggests that regular breaks from sitting can be beneficial to health;

One of the easiest ways to get the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity in each day is to build it into daily routines such taking the stairs instead of the escalator or lift, commuting between home and work or going for walking meetings during the day.

Interestingly, the Canadian survey found that a lack of time, enjoyment as well as a preference for doing ‘other things’, were the most commonly cited reasons for not exercising;
In ten minutes a person can walk, on average between 1 and 1.5 kilometres, taking in excess of 1,200 steps;

This represents a brief walk around the block or walking to and from the railway station and bus/tram stop on the way to work in many cases.
What other ways can we sit less and still get the work done?

– Break up long bouts of sitting by standing during meetings and going for short walk.
– Walk over and talk with a colleague instead of emailing them
– Take the stairs instead of the lift
– Choose walking, cycling and public transport in getting to and from work as well as appointments.
– Use sit-stand desks

Of course, heading outside, into a park or a garden whether at work or at home whenever you can, is not only an easy way to clear your mind it’s also a great way to clear your lungs.

Being active on a regular basis is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and walking is a great way to look after your health. Being active helps you:
• Sleep better
• To feel happier and even more confident
• Improve strength, balance and coordination

There are also these health benefits:
• Helps to maintain your bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures
• Helps to manage weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol
• Reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke
• Helps to prevent and control diabetes
• Reduces your risk of developing some cancers

I’ve read that exercising outside is better than inside.
Numerous studies have found that exercising outside in a natural setting – ‘green’ exercise – is better than exercising indoors. Just five minutes of exercise in a park, working in a backyard garden, on a nature trail or other green space will benefit mental health.

Moving more, sitting less, going for a walk and still get our jobs done. Sounds like a great recipe for a long and interesting life.






About The Author

In the Garden is an exciting new local South Australian TV program on Channel 9 this Summer & next Autumn showcasing the best ‘green’ stories this state has to tell. Check out the latest in garden trends, new plants and top tips to keep those gardens blooming.