Take a stand against sitting

Walking can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Inner-west residents are being urged to get on their feet in the wake of research highlighting the ill-effects of prolonged sitting.

Professor Stuart Biddle of Victoria University’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, has teamed with Bluearth Foundation in releasing a report as part of the national health promotion charity’s MoveMoreSitLess initiative.

The report, based on a survey of more than 1000 people, shows the average Australian spends nine hours a day sitting down and one in six people sit for more than 11 hours a day.

Those levels are associated with increased risks of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, heart disease and even a 40 per cent increase in the risk of early death.

“Times have changed where we have shifted from more active to sedentary occupations,” Professor Biddle said.

Professor Biddle said improving health would take a cultural shift in workplaces alongside people working to increase their movement.

“The first step to changing behaviour is to monitor and count sitting times,” he said.

“It’s great to sit less at work but we shouldn’t then assume we can sit all evening.”

Tips include standing while commuting, walking to colleagues rather than emailing them or taking short walks at breaks.

For details, go to www.movemoresitless.org.au