Thursday 28 July 2016

Offices are the new smoking

 The Lancet has published a meta-analysis looking at the effect of exercise on sedentary lifestyles. It's been rather sensationally reported (see above - the study doesn't actually mention working in an office), but the gist is this...

In the study, participants, mostly aged over 45, were classed by their levels of physical activity – from up to five minutes a day to more than an hour – and by the amount of time spent seated.

This was compared with death rates over up to 18 years among the adults, who came from western Europe, Australia and the US.

Among those who sat for at least eight hours daily and managed less than five minutes’ activity mortality rates were 9.9 per cent.

But those who spent just as long seated, but managed at least an hour’s exercise, saw death rates drop to 6.2 per cent.

Maybe this is solid science, maybe it's more epidemiological trash, but there was a time when this information would be passed on to the public by way of advice and we would do with it what we wanted. We could, for example, ignore it - more than 90 per cent of both groups were still alive at the study's conclusion after all.

But times have changed and so, inevitably...

“This report is showing that inactivity kills,” he said. “When we realised this about smoking we tackled it – we need to do the same about our office culture.”

The Telegraph mentions various policy options to counter the seductive marketing of Big Furniture, including this gem...

These include placing bus stops further apart to force people to walk longer to and from them

Good grief.

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