British office workers spend the equivalent of five years of their lives sat at their desk without getting up according to new research.
That equates to nearly five hours a day sitting at a desk without moving, which is almost 24 continuous hours a week and around 45 days a year.
The independent research among 1,000 office workers on behalf of Sanlam Private Investments shows that on average, office workers spend 55% of their working day sat down with almost 60% saying they don’t even take a lunch break and instead eat at their desk.
Office workers are not compensating for this sedentary life once they are away from the office, the research suggests 47% do less than an hour of exercise a week.
Again work appears to be part of the problem. Almost a quarter (24%) surveyed can’t fit any exercise into their working day and say it’s too late by the time they get home to do it.
As a result, 52% are worried about their weight, only 31% are the right weight for their height, 30% say they have worrying stress levels and 53% fear for their health.
While the picture painted by the research of deskbound office workers is in stark contrast to the day in the life of the nation’s professional athletes it could in fact be sports stars to the rescue, with Saracens Rugby Club alongside their sponsors, Sanlam Private Investments, launching the Ultimate Office Fitness Guide to help get office workers active in the work place.
The Guide includes a mix of 15 minute and 30 minute exercise routines which can be done in the office, together with some weekend workouts. The routines have been designed by Saracens Strength and Conditioning Coach, Andy Edwards. Andy, who helps get the club’s stars into match-winning shape, says:
“We’ve tried to make it easy for even the most desk-bound person to do something. Obviously it would be good if people could find more time to exercise, but you can achieve a lot in a concentrated 15 minutes and if people commit to doing something each day we believe they will feel the difference.”
The Guide covers healthy eating too, with top tips and meal ideas from George Morgan, Saracens Nutritionist, including different healthy quick breakfasts, plus ideas for snacks and packed lunches.
“Missing meals appears to be a big problem for people with 30% in the research skipping breakfast. This is really the first nail in the coffin of a healthy diet” he says, “especially if people have demanding jobs as they all too often end up relying on sugary snacks to get them through the day.”
The Guide is designed to kick start office workers into making some small but significant changes in their lives – especially the 34% who say they want to do more but can’t motivate themselves.
Saracens and England star Owen Farrell says: “Making small sacrifices is important. Sacrificing half an hour of television in the evening to go for a run three times a week will make a difference, and you will feel better for it once you start seeing results.”
He also recommends people focus on small changes on the diet front too: “Don’t make drastic changes at first, otherwise it becomes impossible to maintain. Make small changes here and there, for example finding alternatives for foods you would have eaten before.”
Sanlam Private Investments, the wealth management company, commissioned the research and the Guide. It employs around 180 people in 7 offices across the UK. Some of the staff tested out many of the exercises prior to the launch – under the watchful gaze of Saracens players.
Craig Massey, Sanlam Private Investments CEO says: “Our staff were surprised by how much could be achieved in such a short time and in a confined space – and they found it a lot of fun too, with people getting quite competitive!”
To download The Ultimate Office Fitness Guide visit www.spi.sanlam.co.uk/saracens