More 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!
Today 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.
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.
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!
Today we had a fantastic meeting with The Youth Sport Trust in the Entrepreneurial Spark Business Hub in central Manchester. It is a UK national charity creating solutions that improve health, attendance and academic achievement in primary and secondary schools for young people from 18 months to 18 years.
In 2016 The Youth Sport Trust gave…
- 834,083 young people direct opportunities to participate in high quality and inclusive PE and sport.
- 129,553 young people training opportunities which included coaching, officiating and volunteering.
- 34,446 members of the school workforce were given continuous professional development training.
We talked and agreed how our EIGER Junior Standing Desks can play an important part to both improving the academic classroom environment whilst increasing significantly students every day activity levels.
Children are inactive in classroom environments for around 4.5 hours every school day and then spend up to a further 7 hours inactive in front of some form of personal device. According to Nike's Designed to Move campaign, today's children are the first generation on course to have a life expectancy 5 years less than their parents because of inactivity.
With the help of The Youth Sport Trust and our EIGER Junior Standing Desks we aim to make the UK's classrooms and children, healthier and more productive.
The trouble with health warnings – the latest of which comes from the British Heart Foundation, suggesting that 20 million UK adults are risking an early death because of inactivity– is that they seem so abstract. How do you go from knowing you should exercise more, to actually doing it? Especially when you still have flashbacks to school sports day humiliation, or worry that the solitary pair of shorts in your wardrobe may no longer fit.
Here's 2 great ideas...
1: Walk more! Just get off your bum and on your feet. It sounds obvious, but research shows that walking can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and more. As soon as it becomes habitual, you won’t even consider it as exercise – just try and do at least 30 minutes a day. Get off the bus a stop early!
2: Stand more! Or look at it another way - sit less! We're a nation of habitual sitters. From the day we first went to school we were told to sit down within 5 minutes and it became a lifetime habit. If low level activity (standing) is proven to be a significant part of the every day active solution that most of us can do more of, why don't we!
A standing desk is the nearest thing you can put in your workplace to a piece of gym equipment. You don't need any lycra or a pair of trainers - just you!
Retrofit sit-stand desk solutions are a great success primarily for 2 reasons. Firstly they remove the upheaval of "out with the old and in with the new". Second, they cost less. We're adding to our range by the introducing MiniJack.
MiniJack sits on top of your existing desk and allows you to go from sit to stand and back again with its effortless height adjustable mechanism.
It has both a keyboard and monitor platform to keep you ergonomically correct at sit or stand positions.
MiniJack will start at £215.00 + VAT and be available on our website from around late April.
Physical inactivity costs the UK £20bn each year and is a particular blight on the modern workforce. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day increases the risk of premature death by up to 60 per cent and costs UK businesses productivity. Huw Edwards of UK Active urged the Government do more to promote activity in the workplace by making it easier for employees to unlock health benefits such as gym passes and equipment.
Many workers struggle to fit exercise into their busy working days, leading to higher rates of absenteeism (which costs the UK £29bn a year) and reduced productivity across the workforce.
Edwards said government and employers should encourage the fun and wide-scale health benefits of active lifestyles. He noted that small lifestyle changes can make a significant difference, urging workers to ‘use the stairs instead of the lift, stand while talking on the phone, or go over to your colleague’s desk to talk rather than email them’.
The ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme was flagged by Edwards as an example of a Government policy that is helping to promote behaviour change and he said this should be expanded to include gym passes and equipment to offer workers more ways to get active under a policy he called 'Workout from Work'.
“By encouraging workers to buy bikes and cycle to work through salary sacrifice incentives, Cycle to Work has had a huge impact,” said Edwards.
“More than 180,000 people bought bikes in 2014 alone, but cycling isn’t for everyone, so why not expand this to include gym memberships and home-activity equipment?
“If we are serious about jump-starting our economy through increased productivity, while at the same time taking the burden of our NHS then it’s time to implement innovative solutions to mobilise Britain’s workforce.”
ukactive has worked with accountancy specialist Saffery Champness to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the economic outcomes of enacting 'Workout from Work'. The analysis found that for every £1 spent on the scheme, the government would save over £2.60 in NHS treatment costs and productivity increases, helping to tackle the sedentary office cultures fuelling the UK’s physical inactivity crisis.
ukactive is now in detailed discussions with the Treasury to outline the economic and societal merits of the policy and will continue to make the case for enactment of 'Workout from Work'.
“Exercise has proven physical and mental benefits for workers, he added.” “Healthy and happy workforces are more productive, healthier and stay with their companies longer, driving revenue for their employers. It’s a ‘win-win’ scenario.”
Today we had a great meeting with The Yorkshire Sport Foundation. Its vision is to create a vibrant, healthy and prosperous Yorkshire through sport and other initiatives. One of its areas of expertise is to support Primary Schools to make best use of the Primary School Sport Premium so they were very interested to talk through how we can help raise activity levels within classroom environments with our EIGER Junior standing desk.
One in five children in the UK leave Primary School obese and with a habitual sitting behaviour pattern that they can potentially take through life with them.
The Yorkshire Sport Foundation is a forward thinking organisation and we look forward to helping them with their goals to get our kids active.
Today we met up with CP Active at their HQ in Halifax to discuss how we can help each other around the startling fact that nearly one fifth of premature deaths in the UK are attributable to inactivity. Co-founder Richard Eccles explained to us how they help companies create environments that encourage active lifestyles by developing programmes and interventions that help to create behaviour change...right up our street!
One area that CP Active are working on is environmental nudge ‘prompts’ to give individuals a gentle push towards integrating activity into their lives..."walk the last mile".
We agreed that standing desks were an important part of the solution to active environments. Less time in a chair has significant proven health benefits.
So we're looking forward to working together in the coming months.
Children at Malton Primary School will now be able to stand during their lessons with the launch of the world’s first education retrofit standing desk. UK enterprise (I Want A Standing Desk) has created the new EIGER Junior retrofit solution designed to turn any child’s sitting desk into a standing desk in seconds and allow a student to work actively therefore improving both their health and cognitive performance.
The creation of the children’s desk comes as childhood obesity rates continue to cause concern with one and five school children in England now classified as obese according to the Government’s National Childhood Measurement Programme for Children.
Nick White, founder of I Want A Standing Desk, said: “We know obesity rates in children are a major concern. We are creating a generation of habitual sitters because of classrooms, computers, TV and technology. We believe the retrofit desk for children can help with this. Studies in the UK and USA have shown a tremendous benefit to classrooms where they have been installed. They have improved activity levels, cognitive behaviour and results.
“Obviously we aren’t asking children to stand up all day but just to be more active and engaged in their learning.”
I Want a Standing Desk has already launched a retrofit desk for adults which has helped users to improve their health and wellbeing. According Professor John Buckley of the University of Chester, using a standing desk for three hours a day over a working year, the user would burn more calories than they would completing 10 marathons.
Loughborough and Leeds Beckett Universities have already confirmed they want to work with Nick and his EIGER Junior standing desks in studies all over the UK.
Richard Allman, Leader for PE and Sports Development at Malton Primary said “We were shocked when Nick told us the long term negatives of sedentary behaviour and the impact classrooms have in this. We also were really interested as to the immediate benefits of improved cognitive behaviour and concentration for our children.”
Nick White said “We’re delighted we have Malton Primary School trialling our EIGER Junior standing desks. It’s a superb forward thinking school that is showcasing to the rest of the UK active learning in classrooms and the benefits.”
A third of Britons are putting themselves at risk of an early grave because they do hardly any exercise, a new report reveals.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) today warns that swathes of the population are needlessly heightening their chances of developing potentially fatal cardiovascular diseases by as much as 35 per cent.
The research also finds that there is a significant risk of illness even among those who do exercise sufficiently, due to the length of time many of them spend sitting down at work.
The Government recommends that adults undertake at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a week, such as cycling or fast walking, as well as exercises to strengthen the legs, torso and arms on at least two days a week.
But the BHF’s Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behavior Report 2017 finds that in some parts of the country nearly half of adults are not meeting the official guidelines.
Every day activity is key to human health. Less time in the chair is a must. Using a standing desk for some of your working day is one of the many options to move more.
We want you to freeze! What’s your sitting position? We bet you anything you’re sitting hunched forward, your neck straining forward like an ostrich about to jump the gun. You might even be slumped resting your chin in your hand, the other idly scrolling the touchpad. Your wrists ache, your shoulder muscles feel sore and the lines where your stomach folds over are threatening to become etched in abs that aren’t as hard a stone. You’re not alone…far from it! Most of the UK is guilty of over-sitting. And it’s been a problem ever since people starting working at desks.
The University of Chester in the UK has been researching the standing vs sitting facts.
A report in The Daily Telegraph on 12.06.2013 has revealed the growing burden that the obesity crisis among children in Britain is placing on the NHS.
Most of the admissions to hospital were to tackle conditions that are made worse by obesity, such as asthma and breathing difficulties during sleep, according to a study of NHS statistics.