Employee Health & Fitness: 7 Tips for Taking a Stand Against Sitting

Prolonged sitting can be dangerous to your health -— at home and at work. New research suggests that sitting too much increases your chances of developing physical disabilities after the age of 60.

“Researchers are reporting that sitting for long hours is linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, obesity and premature death,” says Georgia Saborio, supervisor of Employee Fitness at Baptist Health South Florida.

Her message is well-timed: May is Global Employee Health & Fitness Month, and National Employee Health & Fitness Day is observed on the third Wednesday in May, which is today.

In honor of the Employee Health & Fitness celebrations, Ms. Saborio offers these fitness tips about how to sit less and be more active, even in the workplace:

7 Ways to Sit Less

You already know you should exercise on most days of the week, but did you know you need to sit less too?

Studies show that sedentary lifestyles shorten life expectancy. If we would cut sitting time in half, life expectancy would increase by roughly two years. If you have a desk job, sitting less can be a challenge, but make that choice — you need to take a stand for your health.

Sit less and move more for your well-being. If you just stand more, it increases your energy, burns more calories, tones muscles, improves your posture, and increases blood flow.

At work:
• Stand and take a break from your computer every hour. Set an hourly alarm on your cell phone or computer.
• Walk to your colleagues’ desks instead of phoning or e-mailing.
• Drink more water, going to the water fountain and toilet will break up sitting time.
• Stand during phone calls.

At home:
• Get off the couch and walk around the house during commercial breaks.
• Stand to read the newspaper and/or mail correspondence.
• Move around the house when checking text and e-mail messages on your cell phone.

The goal of National Employee Health and Fitness Day is to “promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through worksite health promotion activities and environments,” according to event organizers. At Baptist Health, the Employee Fitness team offers a variety of programs for all fitness levels.

“We offer free employee fitness centers and fitness assessments at a discounted price. Employees can take advantage of discounts offered to Baptist Health employees by joining one of the listed community fitness centers in our Gym Discount Booklet,” Ms. Saborio says. “Employees can also check out free workout videos through the Medical Library, where they can find a range of different exercises to try in the comfort of their own home.”

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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