Remote workers MORE sedentary?

11 August 2016

Did you know that on average, remote workers are MORE likely to be sedentary than others that work in an office environment?   It might sound surprising but once you take out travel, public transport, off-site meetings, coffee runs etc, you’re left with someone sitting at home or in a café with no reason to get up and move around. Your laptop is right in front of you, the kitchen is only 10 steps away, the bathroom is just across the hall and you no longer have anyone coming up to talk to you or interrupt your work for a coffee break.

Now while all these things might seem like huge wins from a productivity point of view, from a health perspective it’s a bit scary. Working from home or in a remote location can sometime see people sitting at their computer for literally hours at a time with no standing breaks. Stand up desks have been helping this issue slightly, but people still aren’t getting up and physically walking around.

Did you know that people who sit down for most of the day have about the same risk of having a heart attack as a smoker? (Martha Grogan, Cardiologist). They are also far more likely to experience some sort of organ failure in their life, have a 54% more chance of developing cancer and 40% more likely to develop a blood clot. WOWZERS!

The team at wattsnext hr were not too fond of those stats, so as part of their remote working experiment (read about #projectfow here), I have introduced a fitbit challenge to promote a more active workplace and to initiate a little healthy competition.  Everyday each team member aims to clock off at least the recommended 10,000 steps and at the end of the week I take a tally. So far the competition is rife and I’ve never seen so many walking meetings in my life! I can’t wait to see how this little competition positively impacts everyones daily life. After all, baby steps are better than no steps at all.


Challenge results to come- watch this space!


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