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13 May 2013

Herald Sun 

Office workers need to take a stand against lazy work habits to save themselves from heart disease and other conditions, research has found.

A Melbourne study has found swapping between sitting and standing at desks each half-hour during an office working week can equal 45 minutes' exercise.

With Australians now sitting for about 80 per cent of their working days, Professor David Dunstan, of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said height-adjustable desks could make a significant impact.

‘‘If you can replace four hours of the work day sitting with standing, across a five-day working week, the net gain could be equivalent to a 45-minute brisk walk,'' he said.

‘‘It sounds small, but everybody is trying to arrest the situation of weight gain, and this is another way of making a small impact.''

Backed by the Heart Foundation, researchers simulated a work space at the Baker's laboratory and examined 20 office staff working with regular periods standing up.

Workers burnt 13 per cent more energy than when seated all day.

In results to be announced at the Heart Foundation National Conference in Adelaide on Thursday, Prof Dunstan found there was no drop in performance between sitting or standing while at work.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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