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World Physiotherapy Day (September 8) - Sit less, move more

August 28, 2012

Sit less, move more the message from physios

Physios are warning we need to sit less and move more this World Physiotherapy Day (September 8)

Physiotherapy New Zealand says the warning from a US study on sedentary behaviour is clear; we need to sit less and move more.

The study, published by the British Medical Journal, shows that sitting for more than three hours per day can reduce life expectancy by two years. Over half the people surveyed were sitting for more than six hours per day.

Physiotherapy New Zealand President Gill Stotter says their message of movement for life is more important than ever.

Ms Stotter is challenging businesses and employees on World Physiotherapy Day (September 8) to do something active during their working day; like having a standing meeting or taking the stairs instead of the lift.

“As physios we see the effects of sedentary behaviour every day and we know that sitting for long periods can aggravate problems like back pain in patients. This study shows just how damaging inactivity can be.”

“More importantly, we also see the huge benefits that physical activity can give people including feeling better, sleeping better, preventing diseases even helping conditions such as type 2 diabetes or lowering blood pressure.”

“We need to start creating small habits now that allow us to keep active for life. Creating good habits doesn’t need to be about doing hours and hours of intense exercise at night after sitting all day, it could be having an active lunchbreak or walking to work.”

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“This is about incorporating exercise and activity into our daily routines so that it becomes more manageable.”

“On September 8 I would like to challenge everyone to try taking a least one small action to sit a little less and move a little more.”

Sit Less – 10 tips for your work day

1. Take the stairs instead of the lift.
2. Try a standing meeting or a walking meeting.
3. Fill up your water bottle – on another floor of your building.
4. Stand up when you speak on the phone.
5. Get to work the active way; walk, bike or get off the bus at an earlier stop.
6. Walk over to a colleague and pass on a message instead of emailing.
7. Head to the gym in your lunch break or just take a walk around the block.
8. Try some quick exercises at your desk such as relaxed breathing, arm and neck stretches.
9. Invest in a pedometer and see how many steps you can do in a day.
10. Set up your desk as a standing desk

If you are struggling to get moving due to pain, injury or a health condition then a physio can help you make changes to your lifestyle, visit for more information.

Sedentary behaviour and life expectancy in the USA: a cause-deleted life table analysis

About Physiotherapy New Zealand
We are a national membership organization providing advocacy, information and services to more than 3,000 physiotherapists in New Zealand,


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