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Survey of UK workers suggests that only a small portion of IT workers are healthy enough

IT workers branded ?unhealthiest?

People who work at computers are some of the unhealthiest in the UK, a new study suggests.

A survey of 1,734 working Britons found that only 19 per cent of those working in and around desktops were meeting national guidelines on activity and health.

The study – which sought answers from people across a wide range of professions – concluded that those who work in IT-related jobs exercised less than those in any other job.

“There is clearly a correlation between sitting at a desk or wheel all day and how active you’re likely to be,” said Rich Leigh, founder of weight loss agency Fat Free Fitness.

The Fat Free Fitness report claimed that IT workers are less active than receptionists, checkout operators, taxi drivers and shop attendants, “with fewer than 1 in 5 agreeing that they met government activity guidelines of half an hour of moderate exercise, 5 times a week.”

IT professionals also tend to have one of the unhealthiest diets in the UK, the study concluded, with just 14 per cent saying they had five portions of fruit and vegetables throughout the day.

Their caffeine intake, meanwhile, is the highest nationwide, with the average IT worker said to be drinking the equivalent of 10 cups of coffee a day.

On the other end of the spectrum are manual workers, such as bricklayers. 78 per cent said they met national activity targets.

“I personally believe that the government and employers could be doing more to encourage staff activity by organising staff sports and activities at lunch and outside of work,” offered Leigh.

“Incentivise exercise by funding small business gym discounts, and I guarantee healthier workers. A study by the Physical Activity Taskforce in 2003 found that physically active employees take 27% fewer days sick leave.”

Image used for illustrative purposes only. Individual in image is not associated with matters in the news piece.

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