This past March in Melbourne, the Australia Heart Foundation’s 2011 Conference, “Heart to Heart: from Access to Action” hosted leading international and Australian presenters offering critical clinical, research and public health issue perspectives on cardiovascular disease.
Not surprising, workplace wellness was on the agenda.
ABC News in Australia recently covered the conference in Sit less to lower heart disease, citing research that proves “sitting for long periods can be dangerous to health, even when people exercise regularly, increasing the risk of heart disease and other conditions by 80 percent.”
Among the researchers, Professor Marc Hamilton, Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “There are molecules in the body that are very potently invoked when we sit even over short durations,” Hamilton said. Regardless of body weight changes or regular exercise, sitting too long, especially all day at work, has harmful risks associated with it.
Also presenting at the conference, Dame Carol Black, the UK’s first National Director for Health and Work. The UK government is working together with employers and health professional groups to create a Health, Work and Wellbeing initiative.
It is terrific to see the concern and action by the world’s government and healthcare professionals to address workplace health, especially as it relates to Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), or, as in the Fit For Work Europe Coalition’s work, the impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on an individuals ability to work and ultimate impact on their workplace and society as a whole.
Take a look at the international CVD statistics just to get some perspective. According to World Health Organization (WHO), in 2005 an estimated 17.5 million people died of CVD; 30 percent of all deaths globally.
If standing up to answer the phone at work periodically can help? Do it!