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Global Action Plan on Reducing Physical Inactivity

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently released a Global Action Plan on physical activity with the aim of reducing physical inactivity by 10% by 2025, and by 15% by 2030. To support this goal they have developed 4 main objectives: Create active societies: “Create a paradigm shift in all of society by enhancing knowledge and understanding of, and appreciation for, the multiple benefits of regular physical activity, according to ability and at all ages.”1 Create active environments: “Create and maintain environments that promote and safeguard the rights of all people, of all ages, to have equitable access to safe places and spaces, in their cities and communities, in which to engage in regular physical activity, according to ability.”1 Create active people: “Create and promote access to opportunities and programmes, across multiple settings, to help people of all ages and abilities to engage in regular physical activity as individuals, families and communities.”1 Create active systems: “Create and strengthen leadership, governance, multisectoral partnerships, workforce capabilities, advocacy and information systems across sectors to achieve excellence in resource mobilization and implementation of coordinated international, national and subnational action to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour.”1 The reduction of sedentary behaviour is included in objective…

You should stand in meetings – don’t worry about what others might think

The following article, written by Benjamin Gardner, Lee Smith, and Louise Mansfield, was originally published in The Conversation on July 2, 2018. Standing in meetings may be good for our health, but it can also make those that are standing feel self-conscious, anxious about how others perceive them, and disengaged from the meeting. These findings, taken from our recent study, suggest that efforts to encourage office workers to sit less and move more must acknowledge the realities of the workplace that conspire to keep people chained to their seats. Sitting has been linked to adverse health outcomes, including increased risk of obesity, heart disease, some cancers, and poorer mental health. While some evidence suggests that the harms of sitting can be offset by at least one daily hour of moderate physical activity, this seems an unrealistic target. Most of the UK population fails to meet physical activity recommendations and spends prolonged periods sitting. Office workers, who make up half of the UK workforce, are particularly inactive. Our 2015 study of 164 London workers found that, on workdays, they sat for 10.5 hours of the 16 hours they spent awake. Breaking up sitting frequently with periods of standing and associated light activity can have important health…

Is sitting bad for us? There’s good and bad news

The following article, written by Professor David Dunstan – one of our BeUpstanding Academic team members – was originally published in The New Daily on June 25, 2018. As you read this, what are you doing right now? If you’re sitting down, scientists have some good and bad news. First, the bad news. The way most adults work has steadily changed over recent decades. While in many ways our workplaces are ‘safer’ from an occupational hazards perspective, it is now encouraged or even demanded that we spend large portions of our day sedentary (seated) – usually with our eyes glued to some type of screen. While this is now the new norm, we simply weren’t built for such a stationary existence and, unsurprisingly, accumulating scientific evidence demonstrates that exposure to high amounts of sitting significantly increases the risk of premature death, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Yes, you can help to reduce the risks associated with too much sitting if you undertake daily exercise, but unfortunately science tells us the best estimate of the amount of exercise required is equal to about 80 to 90 minutes per day of moderate-intensity activities (such as brisk walking) or 40 to 45…

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