• International Workplace
  • 11 February 2015

What are the best ways employers can reduce sedentary office working?

People in the UK spend almost nine hours sitting each day – at home, travelling and at work. Research shows that sedentary lifestyles are connected with serious health risks, including heart disease and diabetes. 

Professor Alexi Marmot, a leading thinker on the workplace and Director at architects and consultants, AMA, says office designers and managers have an important role in enabling people to be more active at work, stating: 

“Too many offices make it clear that the norm is sitting. They don’t provide places to stand, walk or just to work differently.” 

What can you do? 

For so many, work involves looking at a screen for long periods of time, but what can designers and managers do to promote an active “workstyle” in offices? 

In Scandinavia, 90% of office workers have the choice of using sit-stand desks, compared to less than 1% in the UK. 

Professor Marmot comments: 

“Prioritising short term efficiency over productivity is part of the problem. Clients, designers and managers should think about the longer-term implications for both individuals and organisations. As well as being healthier, activity and movement can stimulate innovation, creativity and communication.” 

David Jenkin, Design Director at AMA, added: 

“New types of office furniture such as sit/stand desks are part of the answer but just as important is reconfiguring offices to encourage movement. This could mean linking office floors with attractive, visible stairs; reducing the number of water coolers or kitchenettes; and moving central resources such as printers.” 

We are looking to hear from you to find out how you are currently tackling this issue and to discover what you think the best methods are to ensure “sedentary workstyles” are reduced. 

Click here to join in our discussion on LinkedIn.