Thursday, February 7, 2013

Falling Down on the Job Starts by Getting Up

While the early efforts to promote movement while working appear to be imperfect, the pursuit is laudable. Most disturbing is recent evidence that sedentary lifestyles are an independent risk factor, even for people who exercise regularly. Sitting uninterrupted for more than four hours a day is unhealthy. I know that many of my colleagues here at Truven Health are at their desks for four, five, six hours straight, every day, and I’m trying to change that.

At a minimum, regardless of their specific work content, office workers should be encouraged to get out of their seats frequently and walk around for a few minutes. The challenge for companies trying to promote simultaneous exercise and work is our own limitations on multi-tasking. It’s possible that typing and walking in place is simply a too-difficult combination of activities; perhaps the use of treadmills and elliptical trainers should be limited to conference calls. In the end it remains true that a healthy workforce is a competitive advantage and hard working employees who never leave their workstation may not be the best performers over time.
 
Ray Fabius MD
Chief Medical Officer



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