A lack of physical activity is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide.
Sitting still may cause premature death. The risk is higher among those that sit still more than 5 hours per day. It is shown to be a risk factor on its own independent of hard exercise and BMI. The more still, the higher risk of chronic diseases. People that sit still more than 4 hours per day have a 40 percent higher risk than those that sit fewer than 4 hours per day. However, those that exercise at least 4 hours per week are as healthy as those that sit fewer than 4 hours per day.
A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity can contribute to or be a risk factor for:
Mortality in elderly men by 30% and double the risk in elderly women
Deep vein thrombosis
High blood pressure
One response that has been adopted by many organizations concerned with health and environment is the promotion of active travel, which seeks to promote walking and cycling as safe and attractive alternatives to motorized transport.
Implementing wellness programs is becoming another popular trend among organizations. Wellness programs can be unique to each organization and can focus on a variety of objectives. For example, some organizations try to get their employees moving through exercise classes at lunch, or walking challenges among co-workers. Other organizations offer a number of different screenings for employees, such as cholesterol or blood pressure screenings.
It is essential that wellness programs have specific goals that provide a specific direction for the program. Goals can include tracking the number of participants who improved their fitness level, or the number of participants screened.
Incentives for increased activity may include doing activities that the person enjoys, such as walking with a friend or playing in a sports league.