× Home Modules Articles Videos Life Events Calculators Quiz Jargon Login
☰ Menu

Sit happens

Written and accurate as at: Sep 16, 2020 Current Stats & Facts

Do you have a twelve-a-day habit? We're talking seated hours, not cigarettes. However, recent studies indicate that sitting too much and moving too little can be just as bad for your health.

The Victorian Government's Better Health website suggests that sitting is the new smoking, and there are plenty of studies to back up this claim. According to government stats, more than 60% of us do less than the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise.

But it's not just structured exercise we're lacking.

Not so long ago, office workers communicated by walking to colleagues' desks. We shared information via hand-delivered memos (remember those?), and we physically attended meetings.

We went outside to buy lunch, and ate it outside, or at least away from our desks!

Today's world is one of remote connectivity. We email or instant message colleagues and attend meetings via video conferencing.

We can order lunch via a website or app and have it delivered by courier directly to our desks – we don't even have to get off our chairs for food!

As a population, we are moving less. We're buying online where we used to visit shopping centres. We, who once walked or cycled to school, now drive our kids; and they spend hours chatting with friends online instead of physically meeting up with them.

Technology has aided and abetted us in becoming more sedentary than ever before – to the detriment of our health and well-being. During Covid-19 this trend has compounded.

According to the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), excessive sitting is putting us at risk of all manner of diseases, the most common being obesity, and Diabetes Type 2.

The NHS quotes sources from Melbourne's Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute that claim too much sitting slows the metabolism which in turn affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and metabolise fat.

Other consequences can include conditions like varicose veins, sciatica, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or more sinister ailments like heart disease and cancer.

So, if too much sitting is the problem, is standing the solution?

Well, yes and no.

Adjustable workstations enabling office workers to stand at their desks are a step in the right direction but standing alone is not a panacea. Standing for hours can affect posture, and lead to neck, back and hip problems.

Movement is the key. Too busy to exercise, you say? Fitting more activity into daily life isn't as difficult as you might think. Research indicates that regular interruptions from sitting may help to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.


  • Taking the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Pacing while on the phone.
  • Changing your posture regularly.
  • Setting an hourly timer reminding you to get up and walk.
  • Organising walking meetings
  • Planning more active social get-togethers
  • Stretching

Our bodies are designed to move. Lack of movement causes muscles and bones to weaken, and ultimately our health and mental well-being can suffer.

What you don't use, you lose!

It's like leaving a car idle in a garage for months. You can replace a car, but you can't replace your body – technology hasn't gone that far yet – so get up and move it!


You may also be interested in...

no related content

Follow us

View Terms and conditions