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Middle-aged male office workers more sedentary than over-75-year-olds

Overweight office workerEdinburgh University recently released information that had some astounding content...middle-aged male office workers spend more time sitting down than pensioners.

Their study found 45 to 54-year-old men spend on average 7.8 hours per weekday sitting down, compared to 7.4 hours for men aged over-75.

Sedentary work is the main reason for the inactivity, with sedentary time (ST) defined as time spent in any waking activity done while sitting or reclined, including working, eating, reading, watching TV or spending time on a computer.

Experts are calling for action to tackle high levels of ST, which has been linked to health risks including cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes. High levels of sedentary time - more than seven hours a day - increases the risk of an early death, cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes and some cancers, even if people are physically active at other times of the day.

Lead researcher Tessa Strain said: "Large parts of the population are dangerously sedentary, something we have underestimated. We need to tackle high levels of sedentary time in early and middle age, when patterns may develop. Our findings suggest that changing habits in the workplace could be an appropriate place to start, given how much time we spend sitting there every day."

A recent review by other researchers found "tentative evidence" to suggest sit-stand desks could reduce work sedentary time, at least in the short term.

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Sitting increases the risk of developing serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease

Young woman sat on sofa using laptopExperts discovered that as little as 14 days spent sitting around reduces our muscle mass, increases body fat and raises the potential for high cholesterol. And they warned that taking at least 10,000 steps a day - widely regarded as a target for maintaining good health - should be something people strive for to avoid the risk of disease.

Dr Dan Cuthbertson, who led the new study and is presenting his findings at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal, said any physical activity - even walking - is better than being sedentary.

He said: “This doesn’t need to be structured exercise - it could be things like getting off the bus a stop earlier or walking to the shops instead of driving. If you think of a typical mum at home who is always busy and on the go but doesn’t go the gym regularly, there are still significant health benefits in what she’s doing.”

Dr Cuthbertson’s team, from the University of Liverpool, followed a group of 28 healthy people of a normal weight with an average age of 25. Participants usually took 10,000 steps per day or more but did not have more than two hours of structured exercise - such as going to the gym or playing sport - per week

For 14 days, people wore a SenseWear armband, which lets researchers track levels of physical activity, steps, sleep and lifestyle. The group also had health checks on things such as fat, muscle mass and physical fitness at the start and the end of the study.

For the research, people were told to reduce their activity levels by more than 80per cent to around 1,500 steps per day. They were also told to eat their normal meals and keep a food diary. Over the course of the study, exercise levels dropped from a daily average of 161 minutes to 36 minutes. At the same time, the amount of time spent sedentary - such as sitting down - increased by an average of 129 minutes.

The results showed significant changes to the body, including loss of muscle mass (average loss 0.36kg) and increases in total body fat, with central body fat going up by around 1per cent. There was also an increase in liver fat and an increase in bad cholesterol markers. Overall, cardio-respiratory fitness levels also declined.

Dr Cuthbertson warned that people who did not exercise risked becoming obese and developing illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes.

“The take-home message is two-fold,” he said. “If you do formal exercise, it may not be enough and keeping active as part of your daily life is important. And for those who don’t exercise, avoiding prolonged sitting and increasing your daily step counts has clear health benefits.”

He added: “It does appear that there is something in this idea of 10,000 steps a day being good for you. People have become obsessed with 10,000 steps a day and this research shows it’s a good thing.”

He said people in the study were young and fit.

“If you take obese people, older people or those at risk of diabetes, all the risks of a sedentary lifestyle may be even greater,” he added. “Our day-to-day physical activity is key to abstaining from disease and health complications. People must avoid sitting for long periods of time.”

So once again, the virtues of using a standing desk everyday has significant health and wellbeing benefits. Why wait until it's too late?

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Three quarters of modern parents worry their children are less active than they were at the same age

Kids sitting on sofa with gadgetsTHREE quarters of modern parents worry their children are less physically active than they themselves were at the same age, according to a study.

Researchers who polled 1,000 mums and dads of kids aged four to 16, found keeping their children fit and active is a concern shared by many of those who took part.

She says: “This study highlights the confusion faced by parents across the country concerning physical activity levels in children.

“We need to get children doing more physical activity and get them feeling good about themselves. We will then have a nation of happier, healthier children.

“Children should be active every single day. Exercise should be made part of a child’s daily routine, both in and out of school, every morning”

Incredibly, one fifth of parents said they rely solely on schools to keep their children fit and physically active – with two thirds (66 per cent) believing their children get their full quota of physical education during the school day.

A further 31 per cent said they are led by their child, and did not push their child to get out and about more if they don’t want to, while six in 10 judge whether the kids need more exercise by how tired they are.

But 57 per cent of parents admitted noticing a significant change in their children’s behaviour when they were encouraged to exercise.

A quarter believed their children listen more after exercise, while a third of kids have improved concentration.

More than half of those polled admitted their children were much happier after some sort of physical exertion.

Just more information as to why we should be getting our children more every day active both inside and outside the classroom.

Standing desks in UK classrooms are a must.

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Another Real Life Story about 1 Week at a Standing desk

Lady at standing deskJulie Dixon is 52 and she is a mortgage protection advisor. A national UK newspaper provided her with a standing desk option for a week. These are some of her findings...

“I was surprised at the difference standing at my desk made to my productivity and success.

“I make a few phone calls I’d been putting off and some ended up with me getting some new business, which they hadn’t agreed to in the past.

“I didn’t get that post-lunch slump and my lower back pain seemed to lessen too.

“I’ve been in this industry for 30 years and my week at the standing desk was one of the most  productive I’ve ever had.”

Improving productivity is one of the key benefits of using a standing desk. Increasing your heart rate improves blood circulation and therefore oxygen levels to all your major organs, including your brain! 

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Feedback from Primary School Trial of Classroom Standing Desks

Thorner Primary School Children Running on TrackToday we went to meet with Ian Holmes, the head teacher of Thorner Primary School in Leeds (UK) after a one month trial of our EIGER Junior classroom standing desks. Ian is one of the leading supporters of active learning in educational environments - both inside and outside the classroom.

So much so that he has had a running track (it's bright blue!) installed around the playing field to help with their commitment to the Daily Mile - www.thedailymile.co.uk. It was even opened by Johnny Brownlee the UK Olympic Triathlete.

Ian trialled 7 EIGER Junior standing desks in Year 5 with great success. The children really liked the option of standing as to sitting and loved the fact they could adjust the height themselves.

Some children found it hard at first but this only validated the need for them to spend less time in the chair. By the end of the 4 weeks the children were used to standing more and were disappointed when they left the classroom.

Ian is going to be recommending the inclusion of a number of EIGER Junior classroom standing desks for every classroom.

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Blood Pressure Reduced in Just 1 Week Using a Standing Desk

Standing Desk imageDIGITAL marketing worker Craig Freeman, 31, is from Reigate in the UK. Craig trialled a standing desk for just one week for an article in a national newspaper.

In just one week he saw benefits. His blood pressure was above normal before the test and within normal limits after.

This is what he said...“Having spent the past week standing in an office full of 20 other people sitting, I’ve actually really enjoyed it – despite the stick I’ve been getting!

“It felt most beneficial mid-morning and late afternoon. Those are the times I feel like I need a stretch when I’m sitting at a desk.

“I normally suffer from back pain but, after a week of standing, it’s felt better. I’ve felt more productive, too.

“It’s good to know I will be burning more calories if I keep standing at my desk.”

So there it is straight from a normal guy in an every day office. The benefits are there for everyone. Let's spend less time in the chair and more time active working.

Standing desks work!

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Fears the UK faces a stroke epidemic fuelled by bulging waistlines

Stroke brain imageThe UK is facing an “shocking” stroke epidemic as bulging waistlines take their toll, a major report by Kings College London has found. The study of 35 countries warns that within two decades, the number of strokes is set to rise by 44 per cent - far above the average across Europe.

The UK already has the sixth highest number of strokes in Europe, with among the highest cholesterol levels.

Cardiac experts last night warned that soaring obesity levels are fuelling heart problems, and said simple lifestyle changes could greatly reduce the risk of strokes.

The research shows that on current trends, the number of strokes in the UK will rise by 44 per cent by 2035 - compared with a European average of 34 per cent.

Up to nine in ten strokes are preventable, if changes are made to lifestyle, or treatment started for conditions which increase heart risks, research suggests.

The Stroke Association said: “Most strokes are preventable and everyone can take steps to lower their risk of stroke as they get older."

“Obesity can increase your risk of stroke by at least 64 per cent, however simple lifestyle changes, like eating healthier meals, taking regular exercise and stopping smoking along with checking your blood pressure regularly can greatly reduce your risk.”

And on that you probably guessed what we're going to add...less time in the chair and more time at a standing desk during a working "white collar" day has enormous long term health benefits.

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Dell EMC Education Road Show

Dell EMC Logo Standing Desk Road ShowToday we were invited by DELL EMC UK education department to join their road show in Manchester and showcase the new EIGER Junior standing desk to their customers.

IT and EIGER'S work perfectly together especially with the latest Dell Chromebooks that were on display.

IT and sitting are in the DNA of most people and this needs to change. 

Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a new generation of children entering the workplace knowing that using technology doesn't mean sitting all day.

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Children become less active from the age of just seven, major study finds

Children sitting using technologyChildren are entering a “tragic decline” from the age of just seven, with activity levels dropping long before they leave primary school, new research suggests.

Fitness experts said British pupils were entering a state of digital dependence which would shorten lives, with sedentary lifestyles becoming the norm long before children reached adolescence. The Gateshead Millenium Cohort study tracked more than 500 children for eight years, with trackers measuring activity levels.

Until now, efforts to improve uptake of sport and fitness have assumed that the significant slump in activity comes with puberty, especially with girls.

But the new study shows a sharp drop in activity levels between the ages of seven and nine, among boys and girls, with a decline continuing into adolescence.

At the age of seven, the average boy was moderately or vigorously active for one hour 15 minutes a day, the study found, dropping to one hour 10 minutes by the age of nine, and just an hour by the age of 12. By the age of 15, the figure is just 51 minutes, the research shows.

Seven-year-old girls had such activity levels for 63 minutes a day, dropping to 56 minutes by the age of nine, and 47 minutes by the age of 12. At 15, the average girl is active for just 41 minutes daily, the tracking devices found.

Much of the damage was caused because of the amount of time children spent on smartphones and computers, as well as being driven to school instead of walking, experts said.

Jack Shakespeare, Head of ukactive Kids, said: “Physical inactivity is society’s silent killer and the biggest tragedy is that it’s creeping up on our children before they’ve even left the playground.”

While extra funding for school sport was welcome, he said a wider “cultural shift” was needed to protect an inactive generation from a lifetime of health problems.

“It’s not just a case on buying more bats and balls for the PE cupboard, we have to embrace creative solutions and look at how we harness our digital dependence to build movement back into children’s lives, instead of taking it away,” he said.

And that’s where we step in with our EIGER Junior Standing Desk. To have a new generation of UK children going through education knowing there is a healthy alternative to the chair will have major benefits both short term and long term.

If sitting is the new smoking and inactivity a serious global health problem why do we make our children sit down for 4.5 hours every school day?

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Physical Activity Helps Bone Strength

Standing Desks and Bone StrengthThe University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and examined the prospective associations between physical activity, sedentary time, and bone strength during adolescence. High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography was used at distal tibia and radius in 173 girls and 136 boys. Four annual measurements were conducted at the tibia and radius (785 and 582 observations). MVPA and sedentary time were assessed with accelerometers.

The researchers found that MVPA was a positive independent predictor of bone strength and bone volume fraction at the tibia and radius, and of total area and cortical porosity at the tibia. MVPA was a negative predictor of load-to-strength ratio at the radius. Sedentary time negatively predicted total area at both sites and cortical porosity at the tibia, and positively predicted cortical thickness, trabecular thickness, and cortical bone mineral density at the tibia. Maturity-specific associations were seen for MVPA and sedentary time with bone parameters, with the strongest associations during early and mid-puberty.

"Our findings support the importance of physical activity for bone strength accrual and its determinants across adolescent growth and provide new evidence of a detrimental association of sedentary time with bone geometry but positive associations with microarchitecture".

Just some more facts why standing desks and long term health work together.

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Exercise is Good for the Heart

Happy Heart ImageEven a single workout could be good for the heart. That’s the conclusion of a fascinating new study in mice that found that 30 minutes on a treadmill affects gene activity within cardiac cells in ways that, over the long haul, could slow the aging of the animals’ hearts.

Although the study involved mice, the results may help to explain just how, at a cellular level, exercise improves heart health in people as well.

There’s no question that, in general, physical activity is good for hearts. Many studies have found that people who regularly exercise are much less likely to develop or die from cardiac disease than people who are sedentary.

Exercise is known to improve our blood pressure, pulse rate and cholesterol profiles, all of which are associated with better cardiac health.

Every 3 minutes in the UK someone is struck by a heart attack - www.bhf.org.uk

Standing increases the average persons heart beat by 10 beats a minute which improves health and increases brain function.

Just another great reason to get using a standing desk on a daily basis.

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More Than 20 Million Briton's Physically Inactive

Sitting all dayMore than 20 million people in the UK are physically inactive, according to a report by the British Heart Foundation.

The charity warns that inactivity increases the risk of heart disease and costs the NHS around £1.2bn each year.

Harriet Mulvaney experienced a heart attack at 44 and decided to make changes to her lifestyle. "Looking back on it now I would say I was very inactive. I thought I was active but actually I think I was just busy," she says.

Women are 36% more likely than men to be classified as physically inactive - 11.8 million women compared with 8.3 million men.

The report defines "inactive" as not achieving the government guidelines for physical activity of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and strength activities on at least two days a week.

Harriet had a busy life as an HR consultant, driving an hour to work and then sitting at a desk for eight to 10 hours a day.

She would then be busy with family life but didn't make time for activity or exercise.

"I just thought it was one of those things I'd get to in another point in time," she says.

The BHF analysis found that the average man in the UK spends a fifth of his lifetime sitting - equivalent to 78 days a year. For women, it is around 74 days a year.

Another reason to consider a standing desk as a superb way to improve your health whilst you're working - it's a no-brainer!

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Improve Pupil Attainment by Improving Pupil Health

EIGER Junior Standing DeskToday we were invited to attend Yorkshire Sport Foundation's conference on improving pupil attainment by improving pupil health...sounds sense.

Activity experts from UK Universities Leeds Beckett and Loughborough were some of the keynote speakers.

2 points which made real impact were...

1: For any learning environment to be effective the brain needs to be stimulated but when we sit down the blood supply slows down impeding cognitive performance. Increase the blood supply by moving (the heart rate increases) and so does the brains performance. ..concentration,focus and behaviour levels increase and improve.

Studies tell us that the average student will lose classroom attention after around 20 minutes. Most lessons last around 45 minutes!

2: Studies show us that children are inactive in 2 key areas - at home in the evening and in the classroom. On average we make kids sit down for 4.5 hours every school day. It therefore makes total sense to look to include ways we can make the classroom sensibly active - standing desks are one of the workable solutions.

Today's kids are the least active in history - www.designedtomove.org

It was a great day and we'll be blogging more about the problems, solutions and impact over the coming days.

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Active Improves Concentration in the Classroom

In the summer of 2015 a researcher from Oxford University worked with pupils from Year 5 at Christ the King Primary School in Reading (UK) to investigate the effect of PE and activity on concentration levels in the classroom.

There is a well known and established link between playtime and subsequent levels of concentration. Briefly, researchers have shown that if children have an active playtime they concentrate better in their next lesson.  When Christ the King were approached to take part in this study they were interested to see if there were any implications for the frequency, the pattern and the nature of both playtimes and PE lessons. If having more play and PE, or more active play and PE, could be shown to help children do better in class then they might change daily routines and methods.

In this study a number of the children were asked to wear electronic devices to measure their activity throughout the day.  The researcher spent two weeks in the classroom observing the children; she watched them working both before and after breaks and PE; she also asked both the children themselves and their teacher about their work.

This was only a small scale study, but the conclusion was clear that PE and activity does have a beneficial effect on concentration.

A bit more more evidence about how activity in learning environments has a positive impact and how EIGER Junior standing desks can play a part.

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Exercise keeps the mind sharp in over-50s


Physical activity has long been known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and it is thought to play a role in warding off the brain's natural decline as we enter middle age.

 

Dr Justin Varney, lead for adult health and wellbeing at Public Health England, has said any physical activity was good for brain and body.

"Whilst every 10 minutes of exercise provides some benefit, doing 150 minutes a week cuts the chances of depression and dementia by a third, and boosts mental health at any age."

Of course included in that is standing more and sitting less. Using a standing desk increases the heart rate and therefore blood flow to the brain. This results in more oxygen. 

The UK is now one of the world's most inactive countries in the world...let's start the change and become more every day active!

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