The Irish Heart Foundation’s latest campaign is calling on employers to shorten video calls in a bid to help staff ‘escape their chairs’.
A new study from the Irish Heart Foundation has shown that some employees are sitting down for longer periods of time as they work from home.
More than 1,000 people took part in the survey at the start of August and more than half of the participants reported sitting down for longer while working from home. One in four said they typically remained seated for at least three hours more than when they were working in an office.
In response, the Irish Heart Foundation has launched a new campaign called Escape Your Chair. A physical activity coordinator at the organisation, Tara Curran, explained the motivations behind it.
“Sitting at work all day can increase a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke, and it may counteract the benefits of their regular exercise,” Curran said. “As working from home and video meetings become the norm, workers are increasingly tied to their laptops for hour after hour.
“We are urging them to get up and move regularly during their working day and would like to see employers make an effort to shorten meeting times on video conferencing.”
Escape Your Chair is calling on employees to get up and move for one minute every hour throughout the day. To help, it is offering a number of free resources: an “online sitting-time calculator”, a ‘deskercise’ video, expert tips on how to stay well while working from home and a training guide for walking or running 5k.
Personal trainer Karl Henry is the campaign’s ambassador. Making sure you get up for a minute every hour is a good way to “kickstart your daily exercise”, he said: “Being physically active can release endorphins that can help relieve stress, boost mood and improve self-esteem.
“When we find ourselves in a stressful situation at work, a quick stroll can help clear our heads while also helping our hearts and reducing our sitting time.”
The Irish Heart Foundation will celebrate World Heart Day on Tuesday 29 September.
Campaign ambassador, fitness expert, radio and tv broadcaster and author @karlhenrypt said:
“Workers who find themselves sitting down for longer can kick-start their daily exercise by making sure to stand up and move away from the desk for 1 min each hour during the working day” pic.twitter.com/VBdlD4ev2b
— Irish Heart Foundation (@Irishheart_ie) August 31, 2020