You knew that but now there’s scientific evidence. The Telegraph has an excellent piece on the threat of the modern, sedentary lifestyle or work style.
Office workers must exercise for one hour a day to combat the deadly risk of modern working lifestyles, a major Lancet study has found.
Research on more than one million adults found that sitting for at least eight hours a day could increase the risk of premature death by up to 60 per cent.
Scientists said sedentary lifestyles were now posing as great a threat to public health as smoking, and were causing more deaths than obesity.
They urged anyone spending hours at their desk to change their daily routine to take a five minute break every hour, as well as exercise at lunchtimes and evenings.
It’s not enough that you have the work itself to kill you – the angry bosses, the irritating co-workers, the customers who want everything for free (with no respect to boot). It’s also the hours of dull, slumped sitting there, wallowing in it all.
The EPA and other monitoring groups have long said the air inside our offices and frequently our houses is more polluted than the worst air outside. What surprised me about this story is the nugget that the ills associated with the cubicle coffin are more dangerous than the threat of obesity. Of course, the two are closely linked. I’ve worked in some large offices and visited others; healthy workers are in short supply.
What didn’t surprise me here is the call by the study authors for more government programs. In an age when, for many the state has replaced both God and family, everything under the sun cries out for a program or two. Interestingly enough, they never seem to work or they make things worse.
Luckily, the story also provides a solution one can utilize now and without government lording or interference. Exercise is the solution. Through fitness one literally has the ability to forestall death (at least the accelerated death of slow office work). At some companies the workouts are being incorporated into the work – standing desks, treadmill desks, gyms, longer breaks, etc. These are the better companies, the ones one would want to work for anyway. Those that don’t get with the program are a problem. If you want to be healthy, you need to take stock of what you do for a living and how you do it.
One doesn’t have to lead a Dilbert-like existence nor load boxcars all day. Believe it or not, there is a happy, healthy medium out there. Go find it.