More than 11 million Australians spend an average of 8 hours a day in the workplace (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014).
That’s a big chunk of your day you could use to be more active. And if your job mainly involves sitting (e.g. at a computer), you might be putting your health at more risk.
Not getting enough physical activity and sitting too much both increase your risk for heart disease and other health problems. To improve heart health, you need to:
- do 30-45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (like brisk walking) most days of the week
- reduce the time you spend sitting every day and break up sitting time.
You might not think there’s much you can do about being more active and sitting less at work, but you’d be surprised. A few simple changes can add to your daily physical activity and reduce your sitting time.
You may even find there are other benefits – like feeling happier and healthier!
Is your workplace active?
Does your workplace encourage you to be active? Talk to your health representative about these ideas:
- Talk with your employer about getting heart health checks done for employees.
- Does your office have a lunchtime walking or exercise group?
- Are standing desks and meetings encouraged? Use a height-adjustable desk so you can work standing or sitting.
- Shift your meetings outdoors and take a walking meeting.
Implement a wellness plan in your workplace
We've developed a series of resources to help your workplace become more active.
Get your workplace active with MyMarathon
Need to build motivation in your team?
Get into MyMarathon. This October, you and your colleagues can conquer 42.2 Kilometres whenever and wherever you want. You decide the pace and you decide the place.
Tips for moving more and sitting less at work
There are plenty of ways you can make sure you stay active and cut down your sitting time at work.
- Take regular breaks from your computer. Get up and take a break every 30 minutes, and have lunch away from your desk.
- Rotate sitting tasks with standing tasks across your shift.
- Get into the habit of standing to greet visitors or when you’re on the phone (a headset or speaker phone can make it easier).
- Instead of phoning or emailing a colleague, get up and go talk to them.
- Use the stairs instead of the lift or the hoist.
- Use meetings as a chance to stand. Stand at the back of the room during toolbox talks or presentations. If you have to sit in long meetings, take standing breaks. Suggest standing or walking meetings.
- Drink more water. Going to the water cooler and toilet will break up sitting time.
- Move your bin away from your desk so you have to get up to use it.
Is your organisation looking to set up walking groups?
Heart Foundation Walking can help you to set up and maintain walking groups in your local community.
Host Organisations and their nominated Local Coordinators come from a variety of organisations such as health and community centres, councils and workplaces, and are a vital part of Heart Foundation Walking. Local Coordinators receive training, ongoing assistance, support and resources.
My health for life
As a member of the Healthier Queensland Alliance, the Heart Foundation is a proud supporter of the Queensland My health for life program. The program is a free six-month lifestyle modification program to help people reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Heart Foundation Walking
Walking is an enjoyable and easy way to stay active. Join one of our free walking groups or track your progress with our mobile app.
Find a walking group
Knowing your body mass index (BMI) is one of the best ways to establish whether or not you're in a healthy weight range.
Calculate your BMI