Postmen named Britain's fittest workers

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Image from Virgin Active
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
18 September 2014

Postmen are Britain's fittest workers, according to new research from Virgin Active.

A day working as a postman or courier burns almost 1,500 calories and is equivalent to running for almost two hours on a treadmill. Also in the top five fittest workers are farmers, nurses, caterers and retail employees, who all burn over 1,000 calories in a shift.

At the opposite end of the scale are call centre employees, who burn just 804 calories in a working day.

The research also found that Brits spend over half of their working day sitting down – a total of 24 hours and 24 minutes a week sitting on a chair. And one in 10 inactive workers stay sitting down for 100 per cent of their working day.

“It’s alarming how many Brits sit for long periods of time at work,” Andy Birch, head of exercise and wellbeing at Virgin Active, said. “Compared to sitting, standing typically burns around 50 calories an hour more.”

“This calorie difference doesn’t sound much but it quickly adds up over time.  Five hours a day on your feet equals 250 calories a day and 1,250 a week. Over the course of a working year that’s around 60,000 calories burnt which in activity levels is like running over 10 marathons.”

Virgin Active are making simple suggestions to increase activeness at work – from power walking to speak to a colleague rather than email to standing on one leg while you make the tea to practising squats at the photocopier.

The research also found that a third of the UK workforce need to walk for work every day as part of their jobs – and of this third, the average time spent on their feet is nearly three hours. Hospitality staff clock up the most steps at work, spending four and a half hours walking in the workplace. And although many workers spend the majority of their time at work sitting down, three quarters say that they always take the stairs instead of using the lift, burning up to 90 calories per climb.

For more ways to burn calories, visit Virgin Active.