Stand up campaign to boost office health

Posted by ap507 at Nov 03, 2015 04:40 PM |
Office workers at Leicester’s three hospitals are being encouraged to stand up on the job as part of a new health drive

Issued by the Leicester Diabetes Centre on 3 November 2015

Office workers at Leicester’s three hospitals are being encouraged to stand up more on the job as part of a new health drive.

New height-adjustable desks or desk attachments are being made available in a bid to stave off the increased risk of chronic disease, such as Type 2 diabetes, associated with prolonged periods of sitting.

High levels of sitting have been linked to the development of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer but something as simple as regularly breaking up sitting by standing has been shown to benefit health

Staff at Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General Hospital and Glenfield Hospital are being asked to take part in a new study called SMArT Work.

SMArT Work is providing NHS office workers with the opportunity to reduce the amount of time they spend sitting at work by providing them with a height-adjustable desk or desk attachment that will allow them to switch between sitting and standing to work. The study will evaluate how this impacts on health over a 12 month time period

The project is a collaborative effort between Loughborough University, University of Leicester and the Leicester Diabetes Centre. It has been funded by the NIHR Department of Health Policy Research Programme and supported by the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit has funded the project as well as the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM).

Dr Fehmidah Munir, from Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, is leading the study. She said: “Prior to the standing desks being installed we will be assessing how much time the staff taking part in the study spend sat down and inactive, and then reassessing this at the end of the 12-month trial. This project is a real opportunity to help those who sit for long periods of time to change their sitting habits for the better.”

Study Co-ordinator Dr Sophie O’Connell said: “Our message is simple; sit less, move more and we’re trying to encourage this in office environments. Changes in the demands of work and increased use of computers have led to long, uninterrupted periods of occupational sitting.

“In recent years, studies have emerged demonstrating that sitting is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, independent of the amount of exercise people do.

“This suggests that even if an individual goes for a 30-minute run every day this may not compensate for the amount of sitting time accumulated throughout the day. This is worrying since data shows that adults spend around 60 to 70 per cent of their waking day sitting, with office workers sitting for 80 per cent of the day.”

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester.

Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, it is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

For more information or if you would like to take part in this study, email: sophie.oconnell@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or call 0116 258 8571.

Notes to editors

  • For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk or call 07803 003811 or 01604 882342.
  • The Diabetes Research Centre is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.
  • The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.
  • Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, the Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, working with the city and county Clinical Commissioning Groups. It is a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.
  • For more information about the Leicester Diabetes Centre, visit http://www.leicesterdiabetescentre.org.uk

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