The Evidence

Policies relating to occupational sedentary behaviour?

Your workplace is likely to have policies regarding leave, fire safety, employment conditions, etc. etc. but what about sedentary work? Dr Pieter Coenen led a qualitative review of existing national and international occupational safety and health policies relating to occupational sedentary behaviour. He concluded that although there were no occupational authority policies that focused specifically on sedentary behaviour, there were a relevant aspects of existing policies that could be modified to address occupational sedentary behaviour. Do you have a policy addressing occupational sitting in your workplace? Please share your story with us.

Tips from the longest-living populations in the world

‘The Blue Zones’ are populations that experience longer, healthier and fuller lives. You might have heard of some of these before, as scientists love to study their behaviours to try to understand what contributes to their longevity. The Blue Zones include Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica and Loma Linda in California, where people are three times more likely to live to 100 than Australians. People living in Blue Zones enjoy much longer lives and lower rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and dementia compared to that seen in the Western world – Tim Crowe, Associate Professor in Nutrition at Deakin University And what is common amongst the people of The Blue Zones? They lead naturally non-sedentary lives, often moving every 30 minutes or so. While Australians understand the need for exercise, what we aim to do with the BeUpstanding Toolkit is to help people in sedentary jobs move more throughout the day. It’s these small changes to behaviour that can have a big impact on health and wellbeing!

What is sedentary behaviour and how common is it?

Sedentary behaviour refers to any waking activity characterised by low energy expenditure and a sitting or reclining posture. Common sedentary behaviours include sitting while watching television, driving a car or working at your computer. In Australian office workplaces, sitting behaviour is so common that over three-quarters of the work day is spent sitting, with much of this sitting time accrued in long, unbroken bouts of 30 minutes or more.Further, workplace sitting is the largest contributor to an office worker’s overall daily sitting time. We at BeUpstanding can see the potential in reducing sitting in Australian workplaces to improve health outcomes, as well as overall wellbeing, for a healthier, happier workforce.

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