LONDON, June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Research conducted among employees revealed 70% of office workers want their employer to support them in taking regular breaks at work for the sake of their health. Younger members of Britain's workforce aged 18-34 are most in agreement with this, as 79% strongly believe their employer should support regular breaks, according to the research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Power Plate® FitStop™, the new workplace wellness solution from Performance Health Systems.
The research also showed 73% of workers sit at their desk two to six hours without a break and 62% of employees experience discomfort at work from prolonged sitting. Younger employees aged 18-24 experience the most aches and pains with 71% of them stating this. By comparison, 56% of those aged 35-44 and 67% of those aged 45-54 complained of discomfort.
Help is at hand with FitStop, an out-of-the-gym solution allowing employees to take part in a quick series of movements on Power Plate, designed to revitalise employees and reverse the negative effects of sedentary behaviour. Drawing on the body's natural response to vibration, the Power Plate surface vibrates 25-50 times per second in safe, harmonic waves, resulting in corresponding muscle activation. The increased stimulation of muscle groups enables employees to feel the instant benefits of FitStop in a much shorter amount of time than conventional exercise would. Each movement is performed for 60 seconds or less, which means it takes as little as three minutes to complete a single FitStop session.
Solution to the problem
Leading media GP Dr Hilary Jones welcomes the FitStop concept and believes it could be the answer to combat sedentary behaviour in the workplace. "The Power Plate research is not alone in identifying the problem that employees sit down for too long at work and employers are well aware of the responsibility they have to address it," says Dr Hilary Jones. "What's exciting and different here is that I believe FitStop could be part of the solution to this problem."
60% of employees believe a short, five minute break could have a positive impact on their work and help relieve aches and pains. Dr Hilary Jones says they are absolutely right about this. "A brief break will get your circulation going, release tension in your neck, shoulders and back and boost blood flow to your legs to avoid 'numb bum' and the tingling feeling we know as 'pins and needles'. With the blessing of employers and the support of colleagues, FitStop is a great workplace wellness solution which I hope to see catch on."
Active people are at risk too
What many people don't realise is active individuals who do other forms of exercise are also at risk from the negative effects of sedentary behaviour. "After just 90 minutes of continuous sitting, the body begins to show the negative effects as gravity takes its toll on your posture, forcing you forwards and down," says Chris Brown, Head of Corporate Wellness, Elderly Care and Medical markets at Performance Health Systems. "Electrical nerve activity in the leg muscles shuts off, calorie burn drops to one per minute, enzymes that break down fat drop by 90% and circulation and blood flow are restricted to the lower body. All this happens whether you exercise every day or don't exercise at all."
Big businesses lead the way
Nuffield Health has introduced FitStop into the Microsoft UK head office and two other big UK employers, Sainsbury's and BSkyB, successfully followed a similar Power Plate programme as part of the FitStop development pilot. After six months, Sainsbury's reported a 37% decrease in levels of sedentary behaviour, a 70% increase in people who took no sick leave, an 88% increase in people feeling more energetic and 67% of employees feeling less stressed (1). BSkyB loved FitStop so much, they bought the trial equipment and committed to roll out the programme more widely.
Note to editors
FitStop is an out-of-the-gym solution designed to be located on the office floor or in a break out area or staffroom. The in-built touch screen monitor provides user-friendly and easy-to-follow video demonstrations and privacy screens are available allowing users to complete their programme discreetly. The session can be performed in normal work clothes and enables employees to return to their desks feeling refreshed.
- Sainsbury's figures resulting from research carried out among its employers and employees in October 2011 - March 2012
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 772 adults who are office workers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st March and 1st April 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
SOURCE Power Plate