You only have to watch an episode of Mad Men to see how much the workplace has changed over the years, long gone are the days where smoking and drinking in a boardroom were considered acceptable. Not only has social behavior changed in offices, so has the technology - when was the last time you sent a fax for instance? So we've since swapped the bourbon for fruit teas, the filofax for ipads and yet we're still sitting in the same style office chairs and using the same type of desking which was invented long before the days of Don Draper and co.
As a nation we're a lot more aware of our health than perhaps previous generations were, smoking is no longer considered sexy and there's a certain stigma attached to day drinking - especially during working hours! So you have to ask, why are we still spending the majority of our working day sedentary when we know it's killing us?
Changing the way we work is not something that can be ignored for much longer. "Sitting Disease" (as medical professionals have dubbed it) is fast taking control of the workplace. We've seen the introduction of the height adjustable desk,great for posture and circulation. However, more recent studies have called for businesses to encourage their employees to walk at work, and when you consider the benefits of adopting this new way of working you'll find them hard to ignore.
1) Walking prevents type 2 diabetes.
The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing just 7% of your body weight (12-15 pounds) can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.
2) Walking strengthens your heart if you’re male.
In one study, mortality rates among retired men who walked less than one mile per day were nearly twice that among those who walked more than two miles per day.
3) Walking strengthens your heart if you’re female.
Women in the Nurse’s Health Study (72,488 female nurses) who walked three hours or more per week reduced their risk of a heart attack or other coronary event by 35% compared with women who did not walk.
4) Walking is good for your brain.
In a study on walking and cognitive function, researchers found that women who walked the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week had significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline than women who walked less than 40 minutes per week. Think about that!
5) Walking is good for your bones.
Research shows that postmenopausal women who walk approximately one mile each day have higher whole-body bone density than women who walk shorter distances, and walking is also effective in slowing the rate of bone loss from the legs.
6) Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression.
Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression as measured with a standard depression questionnaire by 47%.
7) Walking reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer.
Women who performed the equivalent of one hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking had an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer compared with inactive women. Many studies have shown that exercise can prevent colon cancer and even if an individual person develops colon cancer the benefits of exercise appear to continue both by increasing quality of life and reducing mortality.
8) Walking improves fitness.
Walking just three times a week for 30 minutes can significantly increase cardio respiratory fitness.
9) Walking in short bouts improves fitness, too!
A study of sedentary women showed that short bouts of brisk walking (three 10-minute walks per day) resulted in similar improvements in fitness and were at least as effective in decreasing body fatness as long bouts (one 30-minute walk per day).
10) Walking improves physical function.
Research shows that walking improves fitness and physical function and prevents physical disability in older persons.
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