Get Active, Get Moving
In a health-conscious society, we are increasingly aware of our lifestyles and the importance of trying to stay healthy. However, for many workers across the UK, day-to-day work involves spending a great deal of time sat down
Whether you’re in the office or on your way in, chances are you’re sat at your desk, in a car, or on some form of public transport. All the sitting down we do has been recognised as having a negative impact on both our health and our productivity. Studies have found that sitting for long periods increases the risk of cardiovascular ill health and reduces muscle and bone strength.
Increasingly, it is the case that commutes (particularly long ones) and sedentary lifestyles, including sitting a lot during work, have an impact on both mental health and work performance.
The effects of long periods of inactivity are both physical and psychological. Physically, there is lethargy, and it is suspected long periods of sitting can also cause the slowing of the metabolism. This in turn causes increased blood pressure and poor regulation of blood-sugar levels. Psychologically, you may feel less alert, less able to focus, and sluggish.
Exercise is the perfect antidote to combat these side effects. According to the NHS, up to 60 minutes of exercise per day can offset some of the harm caused by sitting down for long periods. The trick is to build it into your day as much as possible.
Take the stairs where possible, walk around the office, stretch your legs at lunchtime. Do what you can to minimise long periods of inactivity; you don’t have to start running marathons, just increase the amount of movement in your day. Studies have demonstrated that even moderate activity can have positive effects.
Sleep, too, is increasingly recognised as important for work performance, as well as general health and wellbeing. Balancing sleep with a busy work schedule is important, however in a society which never switches off, it can be difficult to strike a balance, but try not to compromise on sleep!
However, one age group which is exercising more times in a month than any other age group, are the over 65s, with outdoor sports such as cycling, hiking and camping proving popular.
As the nation is living longer, and the average life expectancies increase, new research has revealed that the over 65s are now one of the most physically active age groups in the UK.
A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults published by Decathlon in the Decathlon Activity Index 2019, shows that 44 per cent of over 65s take part in sports eight times or more in a typical month.
When over 65s were quizzed on the sports they take part in every month, swimming was overwhelmingly the sport of choice for this age group, with 38 per cent of the votes. Perhaps surprisingly, this was followed by exercising in the gym which came in second place (29 per cent) inspired by celebrities within this age group including Cher, Goldie Hawn and Sting. Three out of the top five types of exercise over 65s take part in were outdoor based, including cycling (21 per cent), hiking or trekking (19 per cent) and camping (11 per cent). Showing that retirement is no excuse for slowing down.
So what are you waiting for? Get active, get moving!