Sitting has been labelled the smoking of our generation.

An increasing number of studies show how sitting all day is damaging to your health. This is not good news for people in office jobs. 

To help prevent illnesses associated with sedentary behaviour, health experts recommend moving more often. Walking is often cited as a leading remedy for sitting.

A study investigating the health impact of sedentary work reports that sitting or lounging around during the day is linked to around 70,000 deaths per year in the UK

The peer-reviewed research from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reported30% of UK adults spent at least six hours a day in a sedentary position during weekdays.

At weekends, that figure increases to 37% – which reflects how lazy the UK has become as a nation.

Researchers estimated that 11.6% of the deaths involved in the study were exacerbated by sedentary behaviour. The conclusion was that 69,276 people would have lived longer had they not adopted a sedentary lifestyle. 

In contrast, other studies show walking for 25 minutes every day can increase your lifespan by seven years. 

How Sedentary Jobs Harm Your Health 

It is estimated that office workers sit for around six hours a day. The lack of movement makes your body less effective at burning calories which causes blood pressure to rise and increases glucose levels in your blood. 

This leads to a drop in enzymes which break down fat and lower your metabolism. As a result, you gain weight which increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Sitting also causes good cholesterol levels to drop and all electrical activity in the legs to malfunction. This causes problems with your feet and could lead to deep vein thrombosis – which can be fatal. 

An article published in Harvard Health suggests more movement every day can help combat the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. Movement helps your body to function correctly and subsequently gives you a better sense of wellbeing in the brain. 

Exercise is known to improve mood because it releases feel-good neurotransmitters known as endorphins. These little gems make you feel happy and lower your stress hormones. 

Get Walking

Walking is proven to have numerous benefits that combat health issues typically associated with sedentary jobs. Walking has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and certain types of cancer among other things.  

Experts recommend walking at a brisk pace for around 30 minutes a day. If you are not able to walk for a full 30 minutes due to health or time restraints, break your exercise into 10 minutes segments. 

Measuring exercise by time, however, can be deceiving. Studies show that people tend to overestimate how active they are. Perceived exertion can make you think you are working harder than you actually are. 

The best way to measure your walking quota is to track how many steps you actually make. The Sweatcoin app gives you a realistic view of how much you’re actually moving – and you can convert those steps into digital currency. 

To combat illnesses related to sedentary work, it is recommended that you should aim for at least 10,000 steps a day. Medical experts say 10,000 steps is a reasonable target for adults – and will even earn you 10 SWC a day. 

Whilst 10,000 steps are the bare minimum, another study found that 15,000 steps are the ideal target to improve metabolism – which will help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. 

Walking Strategies for Office Workers 

When you’re walking 9-5, walking between 10,000-15,000 steps can be difficult to achieve. Busy lifestyles and family obligations can hamper your health targets. 

However, there are strategies you can employ in and around the office to ramp up your step counter.

Walking at work

Walk To Work 

Even if you commute, you can factor in a walk to your office. Either get off a stop or two earlier or take a taxi driveresque “scenic route”. If you drive to work, park further away from the office and if you park in the office complex, go to work earlier – and avoid rush hour – and take a brisk walk around town before hitting your desk. 

Walking Meetings

There are no set rules that say you have to have meetings sat around a table. Brainstorming, for example, is actually aided by walking because it helps your mind relax. Walking in nature is inspirational. 

If you do need to take meeting notes, you can use the voice recorder on your mobile or dictaphone. Alternatively, if you must have a sit-down meeting, walk to the park or a coffee shop before getting into the nitty-gritty of the conversation.

Work In and Out of the Office

Studies show that office environments are not good for mental or physical health. And since the outbreak of coronavirus, being indoors increases the risk of contracting Covid-19. 

It is expecting that more companies will introduce staggered shifts and flexible working to keep the number of people in the office to a minimum. Having to work a late shift will inevitably disrupt people’s lifestyles. 

You can offset this by allowing people to work outside the office whenever possible. Changing locations every few hours will mean they are encouraged to walk from one location to another and thus improve their health. 

Moreover, taking a break from work helps to reinvigorate cognitive function. This makes people more imaginative, creative and productive – so, a win-win for everybody.  


The benefit of mobile phones is they allow you to walk and talk at the same time. So if you do take business calls on your smartphone, make a habit of walking whilst you are talking. 

Walking Breaks

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest employees that sit in front of a screen should take short, frequent breaks rather than less frequent longer breaks. 

For example, a 10-minute break every hour is better for your health than a 20-minute break every two hours. Use this time to take a brisk walk and rack up your step count.

Count your steps and convert your efforts into discounts by downloading the Sweatcoin app today – technology that improves your health and saves you money!