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UK workforce is too sedentary, says survey

Almost half of UK employees stretch their legs for less than 20 minutes at work, and nearly one in five workers remains deskbound all day. This is according to a recent survey undertaken by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which is trying to urge employers to take more responsibility for employees' health and increase wellbeing in the workplace.

In a time of economic difficulty, the danger is that the health and wellbeing of staff are getting sidelined, the BHF warns. It found that more than a quarter of employees perceived that their health was not a priority for their employer, and almost a half said that they felt stressed on a daily basis.

With many people reporting that they are working harder or longer than before the downturn, it is more important than ever that attention is paid to physical and mental wellbeing. Looking after health and wellbeing is up to both employers and employees, but managers can easily help promote good practice by setting an example, taking proper lunch breaks and encouraging staff to exercise.

Adults under 65 are recommended by the NHS to break a sweat for 30 minutes a day and undertake 'muscle-strengthening activities' twice a week. They are also advised to minimise extended periods of sitting down.

Acas runs practical training courses on how to recognise, manage and minimise Stress and on issues associated with Health, work and wellbeing.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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