Aussie workers sitting down on the job

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New data released by the Heart Foundation shows Aussie workers are more sedentary than ever, and they know it.

The report, from a national survey of workers aged 25-54 years, found close to 70 per cent of Australian workers are spending considerable amounts of time staring at technological gadgets rather than being physically active.

Of these workers, one in three is increasingly worried about the effect this is having on their health.

Mary Barry, National Heart Foundation CEO said the research confirms the need for more physical activity-friendly workplaces, including environments where workers are encouraged to spend less time sitting down in front of screens.

‘These results are truly eye-opening. Though Aussie workers say they aren’t physically active because of a lack of time, it is also about the way they choose to spend the free time they do have,’ Ms Barry said.

Ms Barry said the research shows that when workers did have some spare time, almost 42 per cent preferred to spend it with their tablets and gadgets.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) president, A/Prof Brian Owler, said that promoting the health benefits of physical activity and educating the community about the serious health risks of physical inactivity are priorities for the AMA.

‘The AMA wants Australians of all ages and all levels of fitness to get moving to get healthy,’ A/Prof Owler said.

‘This research shows that isn’t happening with nearly one in four reporting they do very little or no physical activity.

‘It is too easy for people to get stuck behind a desk or remain seated or stationery at work or at home for long hours every day, and this is very bad for their physical and emotional wellbeing.’

One in two workers also said they had made a change to improve the overall healthiness of their diet in the previous six months.

The first part of the study, released this week, coincides with Heart Week (May 3–9) and aims to shine a spotlight on the growing epidemic of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in Australia.

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