Workers tied to desk and risking health

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‘Couch potato culture’ has invaded the workplace, a charity has claimed, after a survey revealed that many people spend only half an hour on their feet in the office.

Research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Get Britain Standing showed two in five, 38 per cent, confessed to emailing someone sitting next to them and more than half, 52 per cent, regularly eat lunch at their desk.

The organisations are launching a campaign to encourage office staff to be more mobile at work, citing that sitting down too long can lead to health risks such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The poll of 2,000 workers, revealed 45 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men spent 30 minutes or less on their feet, with 62 per cent fearing it would have a negative effect on their health. A third said they even put off going to the toilet while at their desk.

Lisa Young, project manager for the BHF’s Health at Work programme, said: “We’re all guilty of being too glued to our screens sometimes, but these results show just how far the couch potato culture has infiltrated the workplace. Too many of us are tied to our desks at work, which could be increasing our risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”

Dr Mike Loosemore, head of exercise medicine at University College Hospital, said: “Inactivity and sedentary behaviour is one of the biggest challenges we have in public health today. Compared with 100 years ago, our levels of activity are tiny, the number of manual jobs are continually reducing, even if you dig a road up you sit in a little tractor.”