Sitting is the new smoking, says doctor

Drive 20/02/2018

While the problem of workplace stress is not new, awareness of how to manage it and the responsibilities of an employer are only recently gaining traction.

Under the Health and Safety Act, employers have an obligation to try and prevent and reduce the work-related harm caused to their staff.

This covers the obvious things like safety around heavy machinery, but many are unaware that it also includes mental or physical health due to workplace stress.

Dr Richard Ellis from the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) says that "sitting is the new smoking, but in fact, it's not just sitting that is the issue, it's a lack of movement that is really the problem."

Sitting is the new smoking.

The problem with modern life he says, is that we spend so much of our time sitting down at desks.

He says employers need to take this issue seriously and work with staff to figure out how to approach it.

One of the easiest ways to keep moving in the workplace is drinking lots of water. 

This is not just because it's healthy, but because it means you'll be walking to the bathroom several times a day.

Richard Beddie, CEO of Exercise NZ, joined Stephen McIvor on Drive to discuss the beating stress in the workplace.

Listen to the interview above.

Drive with Stephen McIvor, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova'channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.