If you’re running a business, you’re probably aware that there are numerous factors which can influence how productive your employees are. But did you know that the amount of physical activity your staff are getting in each day will have a huge impact on how much work they get done, and the quality of that work?

Furniture At Work™ have completed research which found that businesses can increase workplace productivity simply by encouraging them to do more physical activity.

One of the biggest threats to our health is the amount of time we all spend sitting down each day. Artery disease, heart disease, and cancer are some of the most likely causes of death for people who have inactive lifestyles, along with a slew of other sicknesses and problems. But it turns out that as little as an hour of moderate physical activity each day can cancel this out, according to recent research.

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Scientists analysed data from a million women and men, and found that for those who regularly sit for more than eight hours each day without exercising, their risk of dying early was significantly increased.

The surveyed group included thousands of office workers, and these people were up to 60 percent more likely to die prematurely compared to less sedentary and more active individuals.

Cancer and heart and artery disease were the biggest killers, and it turns out that this increased risk of death could be completely eliminated as long as people were getting in at least an hour of moderate activity such as a brisk cycle ride or walk.

The authors of the study urged business owners and office employees to understand the need for staff to take short but frequent breaks away from their desks. Even occasionally visiting the bathroom, office water cooler, or coffee machine can help reduce the hard associated with sitting for long periods.

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The good news? Those who spend large amounts of time sitting don’t necessarily need to go to the gym or do sport, and can instead break up this exercise with a brisk walk in the morning, after dinner, and maybe during lunch. Physical activity should be built into everyday life, and should ideally include some active transportation like walking or cycling when getting to and from work.

One of the biggest problems most people have, is that even when they’re finished work, they’re often still sitting at home, watching TV or checking in on social media. It turns out that watching TV for more than 3 hours each day (something that many people do) is also associated with an increased risk of dying early in every group in the study, apart from the group that was the most active.

We all know that getting a little exercise in is a great way to clear the mind, encourage creativity, and stay productive, so if you’re aiming to increase the productivity of your staff (and yourself) this year, be sure to encourage more physical activity.