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Apple Watch Stand Up Nudges Might Add 2 Years To Your Life

A significant study of 400,000 people has showed that an Apple Watch nudging you to stand up or exercise could increase your lifespan by two years.

Participants for whom the watch was paired with a reward scheme were measured against those on a reward scheme with no watch and results showed the volunteers who wore the watch had 4.8 extra days of activity per month, which they said translates into two extra years of life.

Rand Europe who undertook the largest ever behavioural technology study found that at risk overweight and inactive groups were more likely to demonstrate greater improvements from the process and the average participant would increase their activity by a whopping 34% when using the watch.

Participants who used the watch would pay £12.50 a month if activity targets were not met. Recent research has suggested that losing something is a stronger incentive than gaining a reward and this psychology may also have influenced the study’s findings.

Standing Desk user and UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock who we recently reported has called upon the NHS to embrace tech as a preventative measure, said "We must stay at the forefront of emerging technologies like digital medicines because their potential is so huge”

Simon Stevens, head of the NHS has urged employers to encourage staff to lose weight with financial bonuses after he lost three stone on such a scheme in the USA. However critics of this have argued that employers are not responsible for subsiding fighting the decline in public health.

The Apple Watch has a stand meter in the activity app that shows hours in which you've stood and moved for at least a minute. Complete your daily Stand goal by standing up and moving around for at least 1 minute during 12 different hours in the day.
Matt Hancock Standing Desk UK Blog
Standing Desk UK Blog reported on Matt Hancock’s new tech led health initiatives Last month.

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New NHS Guidelines Recommend Working Standing

In the face of increasing evidence that sitting too much is leading to serious illness and obesity, the NHS website has published a set of guidelines on how (and why we should) sit down less. 

The piece explains how some people are sitting for over 7 hours a day and 10 hours for the older generation. This in turn slows down the metabolism, reduces our body’s natural ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down fat. In short, sitting is making us overweight and ill.

I Want A Standing Desk UK Blog recently reported on Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock’s vision for the future of the NHS being preventative so it comes as no surprise that the new guidelines include the recommendation that people integrate standing desks into their own working days. Mr Hancock is a standing desk user himself and recommends that teams undertake their meetings at standing desks. The health secretary explained that standing meetings tend to be shorter and more efficient.

The NHS have published the Start Active, Stay Active Report which recommends breaking up sitting with short two minutes bouts of activity. A Panel of experts have suggested taking "an active break from sitting every 30 minutes." This can be accomplished with a variable height standing desk whilst allowing you to work through the sitting break.

"Breaking up sitting time engages your muscles and bones, and gives all our bodily functions a boost – a bit like revving a car's engine," says Professor Dunstan.

The NHS has included the following tips to reduce sitting time:

  • work standing
  • stand on the train or bus
  • take the stairs and walk up escalators
  • set a reminder to get up every 30 minutes
  • stand or walk around while on the phone
  • take a walk break every time you take a coffee or tea break
  • walk to a co-worker's desk instead of emailing or calling
  • swap some TV time for more active tasks or hobbies

I Want A Standing Desk UK Blog has written about UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock's belief that physical activity is "miracle cure" here.

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Prevention is Better than Cure - New Report Published by NHS

Great minds such as Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein all bestowed the virtues of prevention being better than cure in healthcare. Edison predicted the Doctor of the future would spend his time preventing issues rather than solving them.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, yesterday brought to light a 41 page document detailing the governments’ vision for the future of healthcare in the UK citing prevention as their top priority.

Mr Hancock reflected on prevention being more than simply the responsibility of the medical and social care system but that it should be actively promoted and delivered by all members of the community.

“I want us to be working with all those who have a role in influencing health: communities, employers, industry, local government, housing, schools and charities.”

Matt Hancock has recently encouraged companies to adopt standing desks and undertake standing meetings as a means to integrate healthy culture at a ground roots level.

The Health secretary’s report further encourages embedding a culture of good health and positive working / learning environments within our communities to realise his target to increase life expectancy by at least 5 years by 2035.

The document reads “Prevention is as important at seventy years old as it is at age seven.”

The report discusses the need for preventative technology, mobile apps for remote workers and the need for online communities to help patients provide advice and support to one another. Alongside this the NHS may begin to implement “lifestyle questionnaires” on admission to tackle preventable illness.

The questionnaires and notions of individual responsibility have been criticised by some as encouraging a “nanny state.”

The full document can be accessed here.


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Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary says Physical Activity is a “Miracle Cure”

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock who tomorrow will announce a new health initiative urging employers to push movement in the workplace, says he believes it’s the duty of schools, GPs, teachers and employers to promote daily activity as he describes standing desks and movement as a “miracle cure” that cuts the risk of many illnesses.

“Our message should be that movement is medicine.” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at the International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress in London.

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary

Employers are encouraged to build movement into their workers days by buying them standing desks and encouraging standing for meetings. The health secretary who himself uses a standing desk has made the plea in a bid to counter the ever growing issue of sedentary lifestyles lowering our productivity and importantly our lifespans.

“Research has shown that sitting for eight hours a day could increase the risk of premature death by up to 60 percent” reports Laura Donnelly, Health Editor of The Daily Telegraph

The health secretary has encouraged companies to integrate sit-stand desks such as iwantastandingdesk.com’s range of Jack Desks and to avoid seated meetings where possible.

Mr Hancock explained that not only were these measures designed to encourage benefits to health but also productivity and multiple other gains.

“Workplaces can make a difference; encouraging breaks, offering standing desks, having standing meetings…I know from personal experience that having a standing desk can help you get some exercise and improve your productivity”

Not only schools and businesses but GPs are also encouraged by Mr Hancock to push the benefits of standing and movement. “Doctors should not be afraid to tell patients that they need to be more active,” he told the London summit.

The health secretary has since urged businesses to also offer free fruit to reduce the burden on the NHS and encourage healthy living.


Sources: The Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail

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