Giant steps made in tackling the sitting disease

Posted: Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:58

How do we beat the health risks of sedentary working practices? How do we encourage employees to spend more time moving around and less time sat on their backsides? These issues were pretty much neglected in the UK until 2015, when the inaugural Active Working Summit took place.

Three years on, and thanks to ceaseless campaigning by the Active Working CIC organisation, funding on research into these health perils of working life has quadrupled, and awareness has soared. We now read near-daily media coverage of the expanding scientific evidence linking prolonged workplace sitting to increased employee health risks and impaired productivity.

Global experts gather for Active Working Summit 2017

Now in its 3rd year the Active Working Summit™ is the global thought leadership event showcasing the collaboration between Business, Researchers and Government on tackling the sitting disease. With delegates and speakers from 20 countries, the Active Working Summit™ on March 30th will be attended by public health experts, opinion leaders, researchers and decision makers responsible for wellness, productivity and engagement of office workers.

Officially supported by Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer England, the Summit's event ambassador is Dame Carol Black, adviser on Health and Work to Public Health England and NHS England: "Consistent evidence has shown the health benefits of physical activity. We also know about the harms resulting from the lack of activity, from living a sedentary life. Being active is good for us, not just physically – that is obvious – but also for our state of mind, our mental health, and our overall sense of wellbeing. Being inactive increases the risk of dying early. It is worse than smoking. Fortunately it seems that moderate physical activity of about an hour a day can remove the increased risk of death associated with prolonged sitting time at work. So there are grounds for adding physical activity to the sedentary life in the workplace, where many people are occupied much of the day sitting at a desk. I am pleased that the Active Working Summit will bring this evidence to wider notice, encouraging changes in working practice that will help promote and safeguard the health and wellbeing of many people."

Collaboration between Business, Researchers and Government showing huge return on investment

Three of the biggest names in Active Working call for greater collaboration between business, research and government.

"Sit-stand solutions can improve health, wellness and productivity. Findings from over twenty years of research on a variety of sit-stand solutions has consistently shown benefits for employees. They experience fewer aches and pains, greater comfort and satisfaction, and less fatigue. This leads to employers seeing better productivity and far fewer work-related injuries. Now employers have more choices for sit-stand solutions than ever before, so these can be tailored to the needs of almost any workplace." explains Alan Hedge, Professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University.

"The future of Active Working is exciting and has the potential to benefit the lives of millions of people," according toinventor of the treadmill desk James Levine. Professor of Medicine and Director of Obesity Solutions at the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, Jamesis a world-renowned expert on sedentary behaviour and leader in obesity research and child advocacy.

"Australian research indicates that substantial (~2 hrs) reductions in workplace sitting time can be achieved in general adult working populations, with the evidence to date showing greater impacts and innovative findings from a more collaborated approach." David Dunstan, Professor of Physical Activity, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, and co-author of the Expert Statement recommending 2 – 4 hours of standing or light activity daily in the workplace.

The Active Working Summit™ 2017 will present ground breaking new research which will attract international media interest.

  • Major US government backed research findings including "Stand-Up to Work - research project conclusions on long term impacts of sit-stand desks", Joanna Frank, Executive Director at Center for Active Design. New York, USA
  • National strategies on 'combatting' sedentary behaviour in the workplace , Matleena Livson, Physically active lifestyle Senior Advisor at Finnish Olympic Committee
  • Latest research evidence, behaviour change programmes, best practice and case studies focusing on reducing sedentary behaviour and increasing activity amongst office workers.
  • Also featuring the new Active Building standard Fitwel (Center for Active Design) and other case studies from pioneering companies.

Gavin Bradley, Founding Director of Active Working and event director emphasises "The Active Working Summit has set a new and essential benchmark for experts to keep abreast of the latest research and workplace developments. We have an extraordinary international mix of delegates and according to our survey in 2016, 97% of respondents leave this event "inspired" and empowered with evidence to impact real change."

Active Working Summit™ 2017 is entitled: How Reducing Sedentary Behaviour at Work Improves Wellness & Productivity. Taking place on Thursday March 30th 2017, hosted by international law firm K&L Gates at their iconic offices overlooking St Paul's Cathedral at One New Change in central London. Download the Event Programme here. Book your space here.

A 20% discount is available to individuals involved in Workplace Challenge too. Just use the code 'WPChallenge' when registering. Please ensure you tick 'no' to being a supplier in order for the discount to be applied.

Tags: Active Working Summit