Workplaces urged to stop employees sitting for long periods

CANCER Council is calling on workplaces to take a stronger stand for employee health, with figures showing more than one in three Queensland adults sit for seven or more hours daily.

Around 39 per cent of Queenslanders aged 18 to 65 sit or lie down to read, eat, drink, work or watch TV for a minimum of seven hours during the working week, compromising their health and happiness.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift urged employers to encourage incidental activity in the workplace.

"Employee health and wellbeing can be vastly improved if workplaces embrace simple strategies to encourage more moving and less sitting," Ms Clift said.

"Employers have an important role to play in motivating staff to enjoy the benefits of incidental exercise, and to help make this possible during the working day."

Ms Clift said changes to Australia's Physical Activity Guidelines earlier this year reinforced the need for people to break up long periods of sitting.

"No matter how much physical activity you engage in, you're going to be healthier and happier if you seize more opportunities to get moving during your work day.

"Office workers should try standing during phone calls, using the stairs instead of the lift, walking to get lunch, and organising regular physical activities for team development.

"It can also help to set reminder alarms for you to get up and stretch, take a walk or do some gentle exercise during the day, to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time unintentionally."

Cancer Council Queensland reinforced the key role Queensland workplaces have to play in ensuring employee health and happiness, by helping workers stay active during the working week.

"Workplaces that implement healthy workplaces programs and healthy choices for employees improve employee morale, corporate image and employee engagement and relationships," Ms Clift said.

"Employees increase their health awareness and knowledge, physical health, mental wellbeing and job satisfaction - underpinning a healthier lifestyle.

"Cancer Council Queensland's QUEST program promotes simple, easy changes that every organisation can make to help employees make the healthy choice the easy choice, and reduce their risk of cancer and chronic disease.

"Joining QUEST is free, giving organisations access to resources and advice about physical activity, plus other health and lifestyle goals including quitting smoking, improving cancer screening, limiting alcohol intake and ensuring a healthy diet."

More information about joining the QUEST is available at www.quest.org.au.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.
 



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