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Sitting is the New Smoking

by Melissa Haberfield - May 31, 2017

the health risks of sitting all day everyday at an office deskOFFICE WORKER OR STUDENT? ... IS THIS YOU?

Did you know that #SittingIsTheNewSmoking

More than 11 million Australians spend an average of 8 hours a day in the workplace (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014).

That’s a big chunk of your day you could use to be more active. And if your job mainly involves sitting (e.g. at a computer), you might be putting your health at more risk.

Not getting enough physical activity and sitting too much both increase your risk for heart disease and other health problems such as neck and low back pain (Heart Foundation Australia). 

Simple Changes to Reduce Your Sitting Time

You might not think there’s much you can do about being more active and sitting less at work, but you’d be surprised. A few simple changes can add to your daily physical activity and reduce your sitting time.

  • "Motion is Lotion"...use any movements, big or small, to interrupt and break up sustained postures.

  • Set an alarm or use a consistent cues to remind you to break up your sitting time eg. Every time the office phone rings, stand up and stretch.

  • Incidental exercise is a great way to decrease your overall sitting time - park further away from the entrance, take the stairs, or get off public transport a stop earlier than normal to increase your incidental physical activity.  

  • See a physio you trust for good advice and an individualised program to prevent your niggles turning into long term issues.  

You may find that applying the following changes will result in other benefits – like feeling happier and healthier!


Melissa Haberfield

Melissa Haberfield is Director of Flex Out Physiotherapy and has over 9 years experience in both public and private heath sectors across a broad scope of physiotherapy practice. Her treatment mantras include using a combination of appropriate manual therapy, movement-based therapy, pilates, strength work and education/ patient empowerment to treat acute through to chronic patients.