Sitting is the New Smoking Globally: UK Launches ‘On Your Feet Britain’

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.47.50 AMIt’s not just the U.S. that realizes that sitting is the new smoking. A program in the UK is focused on making sure office workers get up and move.

The program is called “On Your Feet Britain,” which is “calling on people to stand regularly, walk around more and embrace ideas such as standing meetings or standing desks,” according to BBC News.

The piece reports that “the campaign is a partnership between the group Get Britain Standing and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) charity. Their survey of 2,000 office workers suggested:”

  • 45% of women and 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work
  • More than half regularly eat their lunch at their desk
  • 78% office workers felt they spent too much time sitting down
  • Nearly two-thirds were worried sitting at work was having a negative impact on their health

One suggestion is to stand while on the phone. “Other ideas including using the stairs instead of a lift, eating lunch away from your desk, taking a break from your computer every 30 minutes and walking to a colleague’s desk rather than phoning or emailing them,” the piece states.

In fact, Get Britain Standing reports that workers can burn 50 calories more per hour by standing rather than being seated.

Said Dr. Mike Loosemore, head of exercise medicine at University College Hospital: “It’s about changing attitudes to how people behave at work and changing the culture of the workplace that just means moving around at little bit more, even just standing up can make a big difference to calories burned and how alert, creative and productive you are.”