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Regular breaks important for office worker health

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Office workers are often reminded of the importance of taking regular exercise, but whether the message is getting through is debatable.

All too often, employees are spending hours each day sat down at their desks and then going home to rest up on the sofa in the evening.

And such sedentary lifestyles could see people experience health problems, both now and in later life, it has been suggested.

Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are all linked to an unhealthy lifestyle, but Lifeblood says these are not the only worries.

Research conducted by the charity suggests inactive office workers are increasing the immediate health risks due to blood clots.

It said that deep vein thrombosis can affect anyone who sits for prolonged periods without moving around.

And Lifeblood found that many professional people under the age of 30 are sitting at their desks all day, eating their lunch in the same place and then opting against exercise in the evening as well.

Some eight out of ten young professionals surveyed said they spend most evenings on their sofa at home.

Lifeblood explained that after sitting for 90 minutes, the blood flow at the back of the knee drops by half.

This increases the chances of developing a blood clot two fold, the charity said, and for every hour spent sitting, the risk of a blood clot increases by ten per cent.

The charity noted that there are around 60,000 potentially fatal blood clots recorded in the UK each year.

Professor Beverley Hunt, medical director of Lifeblood, said the research has “uncovered a ticking time-bomb”.

“Some nine million office workers and countless young gamers are putting themselves at risk of a potentially fatal blood clot,” she stated.

“The human body is designed for the ‘caveman’ lifestyle; active, agile and constantly mobile. Instead we have become increasingly sedentary, obstructing the body’s ability to function as it should.”

Prof Hunt said it is imperative that we take heed of these early warning signs, and take regular breaks.