Having trained as physiotherapist, physical activity is always something I have been interested in. I enjoyed the challenge of working with people who had suffered illness or injury and using physical activity and structured exercise as a tool to improve both physical and mental health. We all know physical activity can reduce the risk of developing many conditions, including cancer, but something that is frequently not given adequate attention is the importance of physical activity in self-care and work-life balance. Continue reading “Whether a #worksitewander or 5 minute stretch remember every little counts.”
At WCRF we fund research into cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity. We then turn this evidence into practical, straightforward advice and information to help anyone who wants to reduce their risk of developing cancer. But we don’t just talk the talk; we are encouraged to lead by example, especially when in the office.
Ask people what they think about workplace cake and you discover it’s a contentious issue. My research surveyed nearly 1000 UK office workers (see previous SCPN blog) and found that office cake changed people’s eating behaviour and made workplaces less healthy (1-3). But while 31% of respondents reported it led to weight gain and 37% said it made it hard to eat healthily at work, 81% said it brings people together and 83% said it cheers people up. So how do we make sense of these opposing ideas? Is there a way to harness the morale-boosting capabilities while minimising the health consequences? I think so. But we need to think differently.
I’m now over half a year into my first full time job and I’ve been thinking back to that very first day back in September when I was presented with an adjustable standing desk. I was rather shocked, this was not the office environment I had been expecting! Friends had told me about their workplace, sitting all day, cakes and biscuits galore, chip shop lunches and I thought that sounded great. So I was reluctant to fully embrace the idea of a ‘healthy worksite’ but my attitude quickly changed once I saw my step count was abysmally low!
We all know we should try to be active regularly to stay healthy – it is recommended we do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week. We can do this by walking, going to a gym class or taking part in a team sport. It is also recommended we try to reduce and break up our sitting time. It is important to think about physical activity and sitting separately to maximise the benefits for our health. People fall into four categories when it comes to their physical activity and sedentary behaviours: Continue reading “Top 10 tips to #SitLessMoveMore at work”
Returning to the office after a jam-packed day of sharing thoughts and ideas; the first thing I wanted to do is reflect on some of my personal highlights as a participant at #dhwdnd yesterday.
These days, it feels as though we can either be productive or live an active life. It doesn’t seem possible to fit both in to our day. With evidence suggesting that spending long periods of time sitting (independent of physical activity levels) increases cancer risk, it’s about time we became more active. So is there any way we can have the best of both worlds? Well, I’m glad to be the bearer of good news: the Pomodoro writing technique might just be what we are all looking for!
There is strong evidence that to reduce our risk of cancer, we need to move often, take at least 30 minutes of moderate to brisk exercise on five days of the week, stay within the healthy weight range, eat more wholegrain, fruit and vegetables, and limit processed meats and alcohol.1