Standing to Attention: Looking at April’s On Your Feet Britain Campaign

On Your Feet BritainOn Your Feet Britain is a nationwide campaign to get more people up and about during their daily routines. Society is beset with reasons not to be active, with much of our lives spent sitting in front of screens, and the aim of this new campaign is to get active and have fun, all whilst raising vital funds to help those suffering from heart disease. Here, we look at the ways you can incorporate all these elements into your work day and help save lives at the same time.

Get Moving

For many of us, work consists mainly of sitting. We sit in the car on the way to work, ride the lift to the appropriate floor and within a few steps we are in our office chairs and hunched over a computer screen. Whereas this is not true for everyone, a large majority of UK workers may not realise how much time they spend off their feet, and the benefits that can be enjoyed by giving a little more physical exertion to life.

The 24th April is a day of national campaigning with the Get Britain Standing initiative. The idea is to encourage workers across the UK to embrace more time standing throughout their work day, including such things as:

• Taking a standing break from your desk every thirty minutes,
• Standing when taking phone calls,
• Holding standing meetings instead of sitting,
• Walking to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing or phoning them,
• Walking from your desk to another part of the office or work area to eat your lunch.

These may not seem like revolutionary tactics but standing for just a few more minutes each day can promote stronger physical activity in general and can help a good cause for On Your Feet Britain. There are also a number of workplace challenges which offices can take part in both to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and to allow positive physical changes to be made in the workplace and (hopefully) carried on into the future.

Why Is It So Important?

It has long been known that extended periods of sitting can increase the chances of heart disease, however it is still an issue that remains a prevalent risk to many workers across the world. The first realisation of the effect came from a 1953 study of bus drivers and bus conductors which found that the drivers were almost twice as likely to die from heart disease compared with the conductors.

The World Health Organisation states a lack of physical activity as being one of the major causes of preventable death, more-so than alcohol and drug abuse or high cholesterol. As our bodies are designed for movement, excessive levels of sitting can cause the degeneration of muscle and repetitive injury which can have a serious effect not just on health but on the productivity of the workers concerned. With many people taking sick leave due to repetitive injury at work, it is important to spread a strong message that just a few changes to the amount of physicality at work can make a huge difference.

On Your Feet with Physiotherapy

The On Your Feet Britain campaign is an excellent chance to help the British Heart Foundation, but moreover a good opportunity to encourage workers to take more consideration when it comes to workplace ergonomics and occupational physiotherapy.

The world has known for a long time that the risks of spending too much time sitting down are numerous, however it can seem easier to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Perhaps a little more knowledge and the charity incentive will help more UK workers change the way they approach their workday and spend more time on their feet!

9th April, 2015