Deskercise: The wage slave's workout

Just because you're tied to a workstation, there's no excuse for letting your fitness slide.

Scientists have claimed that it's as risky as smoking, increases obesity, and that it could lead to deep vein thrombosis if you do it for too long. Yet 59 per cent of us do it every day at work. Sitting at a desk, it seems, can be hazardous to your health.

Research carried out by the British Chiropractic Association has found that 32 per cent of us spend 10 hours or more sitting each day – and that half of us don't even take a break to leave our desks at lunchtime. The effects of this sedentary way of working are compounded by the fact that many of us head home to sit in front of the television. According to Professor Marc

Hamilton of the University of Missouri, desk junkies are risking heart disease, Type-2 diabetes and obesity. "The dire concern for the future may rest with growing numbers of people who are unaware of the dangers of sitting down too much," he says. His studies "demonstrate a significant impact of inactivity on a par with smoking".

A study at the Medical Research Institute in Wellington, New Zealand found that in 62 cases of people with DVT, 34 per cent had spent long periods sitting at their desks at work.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that back disorders are the most common form of ill health and disorders at work – and 75 per cent of sick days are due to stress and back pain, resulting in an estimated 4.9 million working days being lost. For those of us consigned to being stuck in front of a screen all day, these findings may be scary, but they are also unavoidable – we're working longer hours than ever and desk jobs have become the norm.

But there are ways of safeguarding yourself against death by desk. As well as taking regular screen breaks, an industry has sprung up around the idea of making the hours spent at the work station as healthy as possible. And the very latest innovation for workaholics in need of a workout is the GZ PC-Sport & Power Stepper. The device, which costs £99.90 and fits under a desk, looks like a regular stepper, but it actually plugs into your PC. If you stop stepping, your mouse or keyboard will stop working.

Source - Independent