Health expert and doctors around the world are seriously concerned with the growing desk-culture and have deemed that ‘sitting is the new smoking’. There are numerous side effects of constant sitting in today’s office culture, that makes us susceptible to slower metabolism, obesity, rheumatic disorders, heart disease, diabetes among other diseases.
But the important question is how do we find time to exercise in our busy schedules – between commuting to office, our work and then responsibilities at home? Well, the problem is genuine and Japanese companies have found the best solution to it. A number of companies have incorporated mandatory “exercise breaks” during office timings. Of course, having a gym at office didn’t make us any fitter. “Keeping workers in shape is an important corporate strategy,” says Kenichiro Asano, Health Strategist for Frujikura.
According to an AFP report, the mini work-out session not only helps in metabolism after the lunch break but also cuts down lethargy and gets everyone in focus.
At the stroke of 1:00 pm, a group of Tokyo IT workers jump from their desks for a few minutes of rigorous bending, stretching and thrusting pic.twitter.com/bVozQjW8BB
— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 15, 2017
In fact, one of the early exercise initiatives were started by auto manufacturer Honda, and it had great benefits. Their on-the-job accident rates dropped significantly, the workers’ productivity increased, employees took fewer sick days and, most importantly, it increased social skills among its employees.
The report also adds that as many as 28 million Japanese take part in this daily exercise routine that happens either in the morning or after lunch.
In fact, in 2014 after a nationwide poll found that Japanese professionals, on an average, sleep for just 6 hours 22 minutes on work nights – less than those in any other country, they also encouraged them to take sleeping breaks at work.
Japan has realised the importance of fitness for his ageing population, is it time for other countries too to introduce such health initiative?