Problem no.2: Sitting on the job

Solution: As technology makes us more and more sendentary at work, sitting is now regarded as being as harmful to health as smoking. While parked on a chair in front of your computer, your body switches off production of an enzyme called lipase, which is critical for burning fat.

“When we sit, we have muscle ‘dis-use’ – our muscles are essentially ‘sleeping’,” says Associate Professor David Dunstan, who conducted research into sitting for Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. “When we’re up and moving, we’re contracting muscles and it appears that these frequent contractions throughout the day are beneficial for helping to regulate the body’s metabolic processes.” When Dunstan had office workers interrupt their sitting with regular activity breaks, they experienced a 30 per cent improvement in their body’s response and sensitivity to a meal containing glucose – which means the movement was helping to reduce risks of diabetes type 2.

Waist protection:
•    Try using a Swiss ball at your desk – this will keep you moving muscles in your legs, butt and belly (just make sure you also maintain good posture).
•    Request a walking meeting with your boss.
•    Use afternoon or morning tea as an activity break by walking – anywhere: around the block, up some stairs or up to the corner shop for a coffee run.
•    Move your memo tray and envelopes further away so that you have to stand up to access them.
•    Stand up when you read a report or make phone calls.
•    Set your watch or mobile phone to remind you every half an hour to stand up and move – whether you walk around the corridors, get a glass of water or do some star jumps.