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Office employees urged to keep active in the workplace

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Office workers may be able to improve their overall health and wellbeing by taking short, regular strolls around the workplace, it has been claimed.

David Dunstan, associate profession at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, claimed that a little exercise during the working day can cut blood pressure rates in obese and overweight office employees.

Having analysed 19 office workers during the study, comparing their blood pressure every hour during three days of simulated desk work, he established a link between greater physical activity and reduced blood pressure.

As reported by the Herald Sun, participants were asked to sit uninterrupted for seven hours, taking only essential toilet breaks.

On the following day, they were asked to take a light walk or stroll on a treadmill after two hours of sitting, and on the third day this formula was repeated with a moderate walk added into the mix.

“What we really wanted to see was that compared to just sitting there, what happens when you introduce these activity breaks,” associate professor Dunstan stated.

“What we saw was that the blood pressure was lower with the activity breaks and light and moderate exercise yielded similar results in blood pressure levels,” he said.

The expert claimed that getting office workers moving more regularly could potentially help address some of the health complications resulting from prolonged sitting.

Employers need to encourage their workers to take regular breaks away from the desk, as healthy workers tend to be the most productive.

If workers are less physically fit, the chances of them falling ill and taking sick days increases, which can hamper organisational output.

Inactive employees may also have less energy to see them through the working day.