On average, people spend over 3,500 days (or 84,000 hours) at work over a lifetime. This makes work the ideal place to encourage and support physical activity and exercise. And a new study from Germany shows that doing so can help employees increase their fitness, improve their cardiovascular and mental health, and even increase productivity.
Many jobs today are sedentary, which has a damaging effect on our health, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The London bus study in the 1950s showed that workers with sedentary jobs (bus drivers) had much higher levels of heart disease compared with workers with active jobs (bus conductors).
Our work environments can also increase stress, which leads to poor mental health. This is partly because of higher workloads creating increased pressure and also because, through technological advances, work increasingly encroaches on personal time.