- On average, we sit for 7.5 hours per day
- Sitting has bad consequences for our health
- Together with the BEN Foundation, SKO is creating awareness about this topic through the “Sit-free working day”
Sitting down a lot makes you tired faster, it stimulates poor metabolism, and it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research shows that the negative health effects of sitting are not connected to how much someone exercises. In other words, going to the gym in the evening after a long day of seated work is not as effective as you might think.
Light activities during the day, every other hour, for example, have a much more positive effect on blood pressure, sugar and fat metabolism than heavy exercising for an hour in the evening. Sitness’ mission is to make all working Dutch citizens vital. They do this by combining unique strengths, through fitness tests, work posture advises on location, exercises during working hours and customised presentations. Do you sit all day, too? Talk about this problem with your employer. During the sit-free working day on January 28, you will be challenged to spend 25% of your hours standing up, for one day. To give everyone a helping hand, you will receive instructional images during the day with exercises that can be done behind your desk. In the future, companies and organisations will be able to purchase a package with videos in it, where wheelchair basketball players show what exercises employees can do to stay healthy, during their work.
Because the average Dutch person sits 7.5 hours a day on average, the Netherlands is the European champion in sitting. Ironically, the Dutch ladies team wheelchair basketball is also the European champion. Why did SKO choose to use the wheelchair basketball players of the Dutch women’s and men’s team as the figurehead of this campaign? Precisely because they have no other choice; they can only sit. And yet they’ll do anything to stay fit. In the words of Toine Klerks, team manager of the Dutch wheelchair basketball team: “The most brilliant thing is that these athletes are going to help the sitting Dutch with sitting in a healthier way and getting through the day healthy and vital. Because who better to help you sit healthily than those who are sentenced to sit forever?”
Mustafa Korkmaz, who lives in Oldenzaal, is the captain of the Dutch men’s basketball wheelchair team. Mustafa is sharp, has great perseverance and is full of confidence, and rightly so. These qualities stem from his experiences and the obstacles he encountered, but especially from how he dealt with them. Mustafa was born without legs, which turned out to be a rare congenital disability. Despite his handicap, he never felt like he was different. He had a normal childhood, and his parents sent him to a regular school. He wanted to pick up a sport, also for staying healthy. This is where he did run into a problem with his disability. He joined ISV Hengelo in 1996, where he got introduced to wheelchair basketball. He fell in love with the game and completely devoted himself to his training. Ultimately, this grew into a great international career.
Mustafa is proud that he can now raise awareness about the bad consequences of sitting and act as a spokesperson. “It’s very important to me. Besides the fact that we are an example for a lot of people because of the things we do, for example through achieving a lot and not giving up even though we are disabled, we can now also be an example with regard to sitting. We can encourage people to spend less time sitting down. We do not mean to say we are experts in how you should do this, but we do know how to stay very fit; even while sitting.
Robbert Nijhuis, commercial director at SKO, is pleased about working together with these top athletes. “We are very proud that our name will be associated with the Dutch wheelchair basketball team for the next two years. SKO believes in meaningful entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship at SKO is not just about making as much profit as possible. Entrepreneurship also has a social component. It is important to us that athletes do not only develop as athletes but also as humans in our society. As a sponsor, we hope to learn much from the athletes and the coaching staff. Our conviction is: that what you give will come back to you.” SKO also sponsored de Rode Loper 2020. You can read more about this inspiring event here.