Research

Reducing the harm of sedentary work

We now know that sitting for long periods of time is a health risk, and something employers of office and other workers need to take into account (see: Sedentary Work). New research from New Zealand has found that buddying up or forming groups can encourage sedentary workers to take regular activity breaks, improving their health and overcoming the perception that such breaks aren't acceptable. 

Exercise science researchers from the University of Otago interviewed sedentary university staff and found they feel pressured to constantly work and fear their co-workers will think they are "skiving off work" if they take frequent short activity breaks to reduce sitting time. The researchers said that accumulating sedentary time in bouts of longer than 60 minutes is associated with a higher risk of health problems than bouts of fewer than 30 minutes. And the positive benefits of frequent interruptions to sedentary time are greatly increased if the breaks include repeated light to moderate intensity muscle contractions for more than one minute. 
Read more: Elaine Hargreaves, et al. Interrupting Sedentary Time in the Workplace Using Regular Short Activity Breaks. [Abstract] Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, online first February 2020, doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001832. Source: OHSAlert

Global agency publishes World Cancer Report 2020

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has published its new World Cancer Report: Cancer Research for Cancer Prevention.

The 600+ page report looks at the global cancer burden, the causes of cancer (covering causes from tobacco and alcohol, to infectious agents, to occupations and lifestyle), the biological processes in cancer development and much more.

With regard to occupation, it states:

"To date, 38 occupational agents and 12 occupational exposure circumstances have been classified as carcinogenic to humans, and 41 occupational agents and 6 occupational exposure circumstances have been classified as probably carcinogenic to humans."

With regard to prevention: "Prevention of occupational cancer is feasible, and during recent decades there have been many successful regulations and programmes to eliminate or reduce exposure to carcinogens in the workplace, particularly in high-income countries."

The publication is free (or with a donation) - anyone interested needs to register here. IARC will then send a link.

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