Desktop dangers: Working through lunch can increase health risks

Desktop dangers: Working through lunch can increase health risks
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Caiaimage/REX_Shutterstock (2299210a)

Spending extra hours at your desk can lead to a host of health concerns, it’s been found.

It’s not uncommon for office workers to pour over their work during lunch breaks, and stay behind on a daily basis due to heavy workloads. But new research conducted by the National Charity Partnership has highlighted the dangers of being chained to your desk.

The National Charity Partnership is made up of three organisations; Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, and the body’s new findings prove quite shocking. The experts state that workers’ inactive behaviour throughout the day could be contributing to an increase in type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and have uncovered various reasons why people don’t leave their work space.

“When you’re under pressure at work, it’s very easy to skip a lunch break and instead grab something quick and easy at your desk but this isn’t healthy,” Babs Evans, head of prevention for the National Charity Partnership, said.

Out of the of 2,000 men and women studied, 32 per cent complained of heavy workloads stopping them from not getting away from their desks, followed by bemoaning workplace culture at 14 per cent, and stress at 13 per cent.

As for how we spend lunchtimes, 52 per cent claimed to have never left the office for lunch, either to grab food or go on a walk. Reasons for this varied, but 23 per cent said they couldn’t be bothered. A further 24 per cent revealed they worked through their break times. However a whopping 90 per cent admitted to feeling happier after going for a lunchtime stroll.

The new results come hot on the heels of a separate study carried out by BHF, which found one in five never workout and 83 per cent are unsure how much exercise they should be getting a week.

As well as keeping your body in better shape, exercising has many other positive effects including stress relief and better sleep.

The latest research is calling on workers to reclaim their lunchtimes, and head outside instead of staying at your desks.

“People who are under too much pressure at work are more likely to eat unhealthily and be less active – or stop altogether,” Babs explained. “These behaviours are linked to a number of health conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.

“But these diseases are largely preventable and being active is an effective way to help reduce your risk of developing it.”

She adds just a 10 minute walk away from your desk can do people the world of good.

© Cover Media

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