W21C Education Lead, Dr. Nishan Sharma, has taken a stand against sedentary behaviour, along with Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

CTV Calgary interviewed Dr. Sharma on how you can easily make changes to your work habits to break up your day of sitting.

March 10, 2015
Shauna Smith Duncan, CTV Calgary
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi may look a bit taller these days, especially while he is ‘sitting’ in council chambers.

The mayor has decided to forego his chair, while in council, so he can stand instead.

Nenshi says he recently discovered his own desk in his office, moves to a standing position.

‘I’m  just trying to be a little healthier is all. I finally discovered that my desk moves up – and they say that sitting is the new smoking ‘ said Nenshi

While the mayor may be the latest one to discover the standing desk, he’s not alone.

At Spencer Odgen Energy, employees are encouraged to get up and move.

There are several areas in the office where people can go and stretch their legs and take a break, such as a putting green.

Several recent studies show that sitting is a serious health risk and can contribute to a number of chronic diseases.

A survey released Monday by the Alberta Centre for Active Living found one third of Albertans sit for 10 hours or more a day.

On the weekends, it’s about eight and a half hours and only 60 percent of us are getting enough physical activity for it to benefit our health.

Doctor Nishan Sharma, the Education Lead at the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary says you don’t need to make it complicated, just get up and move.

‘if you get up and out of your chair sometime within an hour for a few minutes you’re already seeing the benefits of it. It’s not a matter of accumulating a certain number of hours but break up those prolonged periods and that’s what we’re trying to focus on’ said Sharma.

Sharma also says, short-term issues like back pain and weight gain can compound into diseases like obesity and diabetes.

(with files from Rylee Carlson)