Since launching the first JustStand® Index in 2013, more attention has been given to the dangerous metabolic effects of sedentary lifestyles, or sitting disease as it is more commonly known. Although awareness is growing, there has been little focus on how sitting all day affects the overall health of an organization. We’ve seen the workplace change drastically – with a new generation of workers and innovations in technology – but, for the most part, employees still remain in office chairs. And many of them aren’t happy about it.
In the second JustStand Index, which launched today, we aimed to uncover how sedentary lifestyles are impacting the productivity, engagement and well-being of employees. The report analyzes how sitting impacts key aspects of the workplace – here are the key findings:
- Company productivity: When feeling restless, employees are more likely to get up and move around (61 percent) than browse the internet or social media, also known as cyberloafing (39 percent). While taking regular breaks is important, the data suggests that employees are spending excessive time away from their desks due to restlessness and physical discomfort from prolonged sitting.
- Office culture: Over 60 percent of employees dislike or even hate sitting, yet nearly 70 percent do it all day, every day.
- Employee health: Considering the influx of wearable technology, people are presumably more health-conscious than ever before, but may have been lulled into a false sense of fitness and health. Sixty-two percent of employees indicated that they get the recommended 2.5 hours a week of exercise. However, sitting too much at work, despite physical activity undertaken throughout the week, is detrimental to the human body.
- Wellness programs: Despite health and wellness programs in corporations being a stated priority, only 23 percent of employees are aware of a wellness program at their company and of that population, only 35 percent of these programs offer alternative workstation as a benefit options to help avoid prolonged sitting.
The JustStand Index also measured the change in awareness from the initial report in 2013. While awareness of sitting disease has doubled (15 percent), it has yet to achieve widespread understanding. And while 86 percent of people believe that prolonged sitting increases the risk of early mortality, only 48 percent of people believe they are personally at risk. This demonstrates the need for further education and conversation throughout the business community.
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be exploring these key findings in more detail. In the meantime, visit here to download the full eBook.