Hairdresser Jaime White.
Hairdresser Jaime White. TARA WYLLIE

On your feet for health

STANDING at work all day may seem tiring but it could be the ticket to better health.

With one in eight Queenslanders resting their feet for an average of seven hours or more a day, Diabetes Queensland is urging people to "stand up" for their health - and hairdresser Jaime White agrees.

Ms White - who works at Ooh La La Beaute - said she stood for about six or seven hours a day.

Although she said it could get tiring, she would much rather stand on her feet than sit behind a desk all day.

"I had a job as a receptionist sitting all day but never again," Ms White said.

"I'd rather be on my feet when I'm at work. I feel better."

Diabetes Queensland chief operations officer Taryn Black said statistics showed excessive sitting doubled the risk of developing bowel cancer and could increase chances of heart disease and other conditions by up to 80%.

"Less desk time can help a person avoid type 2 diabetes," she said.

To help battle the sitting scare, Queensland's diabetes, heart, cancer and nutrition organisations joined forces by urging residents to take part in the Swap It, Don't Stop It campaign.

The campaign encourages people to swap sitting for moving to reduce the risk of a range of chronic diseases.

The Chiropractic Association of Australia says workers are sitting for up to 16 hours every day.

Ms Black said Diabetes Queensland encouraged workplaces to take new approaches.

"In the Diabetes Queensland office, we encourage staff to stand up when taking phone calls, and there's not a chair to be seen in our staff meetings," Ms Black said.

Simple activities such as trading the couch for a walk or a car for a bike are ways which can help reduce these health risks.

For more information and ideas on healthy living, see the Swap It campaign website at swapit.gov.au.


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