You'll want to be sat down for this...

5 years and 2 months. It could be the amount of time you've owned a gym membership, it could be the length of the lease on your car or it could even be how long it's been since you had time for a holiday. But I bet you'd never thought that 5 years and 2 months would be the amount of time in your life that, on average, you spend sat at your office desk. 

The shocking statistic was revealed by Sanlam Private Investments who conducted research into the sedentary lifestyle that is part and parcel of working an office job. 

The research suggested that the average worker spends 55% of their working day chained to their desk.

That's around 4.4 hours per day, if you don't account for a lunch break, which makes sense as 60% of workers don't take a proper lunch break and instead opt to eat at their desk.

"Did you know that eating at your desk is bad for you?"

"Did you know that eating at your desk is bad for you?"


5 Years and 2 Months. How?!

  • 8 Hours - in average working day
  • 55% - of 8 hour working day spent sat at desk
  • 4.4 Hours - sat at desk per day
  • 22 Hours - sat at desk per week
  • 46 Weeks - Average number of weeks worked in a calendar year
  • 1012 Hours - hours spent sat at desk per year
  • 45 Years - Average length of career (age 20-65)
  • 45,540 Hours - spent sat at desk in lifetime
  • 45,540 hours = 5.2 Years of your life spent sat at your desk. 

As the age of retirement in the UK continues to climb, it would be no surprise to soon see this figure surpass the 6 year mark.

However modern office design trends are geared towards creating environments that offer a better sense of well-being for staff.

Time spent on activities in a single day

Would a game of pool or a few rounds of table tennis be enough to encourage you to venture away from your desk? How about a couple of games of FIFA on the Xbox? Modern offices are incorporating genuine incentives for staff to spend time away from their desks. 

Not to mention the fact that a little bit of healthy competition in the team will boost morale!

Healthy competition is great for morale but also encourages staff to take that much needed time away from their desks!

Healthy competition is great for morale but also encourages staff to take that much needed time away from their desks!

What we can be sure of is that these office luxuries are promoting mobility in the workplace, which could go a long way towards helping the 53% of workers who are worried about their health or the 47% who achieve less than an hour of exercise every week. 

Want those five years back?

A small adjustment to your work space could see these five years recovered by adding them on to the end of your life!

Standing desks are a new trend that encourage employees to spend more of the day on their feet and being more mobile whilst working. 

This has numerous health benefits attached to it, such as: improving mood & energy levels, reducing back pain and lowering your blood sugar and risk of heart disease!

Spending 3 hours a day at a standing desk could increase the average life expectancy by two years. 

The health benefits show exactly why the likes of Google and Facebook are including the option of a standing desk as part of the 'wellness at work' initiatives!

If you can't believe that you spend 5 years and 2 months sat at your desk then you'll be astounded to learn that you spend, on average, 25 years of your life asleep!

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The Ultimate Office Fitness Guide by Sanlam Private Investments and Saracens. Read More