29 March 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Office workers generally believe that their employer cares about their health, but don't do enough to keep moving during the working day, according to a survey for On Your Feet Britain day.
The survey shows that almost 50 per cent of companies have policies or advice about the need for staff to reduce the amount of time they spend seated in the workplace.
Yet the habit of incorporating regular activity into the working day, such as walking around, stretching or merely regularly switching from sitting to standing every hour or so, is proving difficult to adopt.
The survey shows that around 20 per cent of office workers say they would delay a toilet break because of pressure to remain seated at their desk.
Also, 23 per cent admit they could make more of an effort themselves to cut their sedentary time during working hours.
A majority - 85 per cent - believe that their employer cares about their health, yet 40 per cent say their job makes it difficult to be more active during the working day.
The survey of employees from the 2,500 companies that have previously signed up for the On Your Feet Britain action day, reveals that some 74 per cent (a slight reduction on last year's 77 per cent) admit the sit for too long, often spending 90 minutes at a time, or more, sitting down every working day.
Almost 70 per cent spend a total of five hours or more seated.
On Your Feet Britain is a free event to encourage staff to participate in a variety of fun and simple activities in the workplace to help them break the harmful 'binge-sitting' habit. Now in its fifth year, the action day is run by the Get Britain Standing campaign, in association with Active Working, a community interest company.
Gavin Bradley, founder of Active Working and the Get Britain Standing campaign, said: "It is hugely impressive that in the five years since we launched the campaign, awareness of the sitting disease has rocketed up from 16 per cent to 70 per cent and many companies are adopting policies and sharing advice on how to keep their office staff active during working hours.
"However, more work needs to be done to change workplace culture to become more pro-active in tackling the health risks of prolonged sitting."
On Your Feet Britain day takes place on Friday 26 April.