Office yoga: an answer to workplace productivity?

Here's why an active workforce is a productive workforce.

It’s no secret that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to serious health issues later in life. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and poor mental health have all been linked to a sedentary lifestyle, and office workers are most at risk.

The latest report, published by UK medical journal Lancet, says that sedentary desk work is is now as big a risk to public health as smoking. The numbers speak for themselves, with smoking contributing to more than 5 million deaths a year and inactivity now contributing to a similar number.

The study Lancet published looked at participants’ level of activity and how long they spent seated. It found that those who sat for at least 8 hours but engaged in at least an hour of activity a day had a mortality rate of 6.2 per cent. But those who did not, had a mortality rate of 9.9 per cent- more than a third higher.

UK health guidance recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day, half of that the study suggests would combat the effects of being chained to a desk. However, half of women and a third of men do not manage this.

Expert office furniture suppliers, Furniture At Work, teamed up with a Manchester-based yoga teacher and two office workers to put together a manageable and effective yoga-based workout. The aim is to keep them active and reduce the risk of death associated with prolonged periods of inactivity.

Ensuring that your workforce is healthy and rejuvenated can help to improve productivity massively. Even encouraging staff to leave their desks during their lunch hour can help. It’s surprising how many office workers will sit at their desk through their lunch hour rather than getting some fresh air.

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