Last week at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Annual Research Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity in Washington D.C., experts presented research indicating that sitting for long periods of time can increase some of those same indicators of cancer risk, even among people who exercise daily. In Make Time + Break Time = Cancer Prevention, AICR stresses that while physical activity should be part of a daily routine, individuals who take breaks every hour of sitting with 1 to 2 minutes of activity go further to protect themselves against many cancers.
Robust corporate wellness programs can go a long way to encouraging employees to reduce their risk. Creating an environment where incorporating physical activity during the course of the day should be part of a comprehensive wellness strategy. Wellness Corporate Solutions (WCS) recommends that companies create an environment to encourage movement, provide opportunity and make wellness fun.
- Decorate stairwells or post signs such as “Take a Few Steps to Better Health” which can encourage stair climbing instead of taking the elevator.
- Schedule Moving Breaks where employees to take stretch breaks for better circulation and work efficiency.
- Post signs in the parking lot to encourage employees to park further from the entrance.
- Offer on-site exercise opportunities like classes, walking clubs, or walking routes from or around the office.
- Support “walking meetings”. WCS clients love those buttons that say “Walking Meeting in Progress”. Employees can wear these while holding ‘walking meetings” and know this activity is supported by their company.
Consider the “Fun Factor”!
- Examples include installing a basketball hoop outside offices, provide pedometers to track distance traveled while in the office, or offer balance ball chairs.