How often do you get up from your desk at work, or even just change your seated position? For most of us, the answer is shockingly low, which is worrying given that sitting still for long periods of time has been linked to being overweight, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and premature death.
What's more, according to the NHS, prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down fat. Not good news...
According to osteopath Xerxes Dalal, who has worked in the City since 2002, many people also get back pain from sitting at desks all day. 'I've seen so many office workers who have bad backs as a result of stress, long hours and excessive sitting' he says.
'Several studies have shown that ideally, you should change position 40 times per day at work' he continues. 'So if you have a sedentary job, get up and walk around as often as possible, and change position at your desk. 'If you have a standing job, moving frequently and even sitting occasionally (with good posture) is advisable' he adds.
Moving 40 times a day sounds like a lot, but if you stand up for phone calls, move away from your desk for meetings, make plenty of tea and of course go out for a walk at lunch time, it's certainly achievable. Other recommendations for office workers include choosing a standing desk (options such as Varidesk allow you to sit or stand) and, if you have pain on your dominant side, swapping your mouse over to the other hand – you'll be surprised how quickly you get used to it!