Author Bob Kohnle is the CEO & Founder of Aliat.

An article by Reuters is spreading like wildfire across the Internet with a shocking worldwide health statistic:

“A study of one million people has found that physical inactivity costs the global economy $67.5 billion a year in healthcare and productivity losses, but an hour a day of exercise could eliminate most of that.”

A sedentary lifestyle – linked to the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer – is estimated to be the cause of 5 million deaths per year. In 2013, healthcare costs and productivity losses associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer cost us $67.5 billion globally.

Researchers from around the globe concluded exercise was an extremely important variable in premature death. When studying the correlation between hours sitting vs. active, researchers found the following:

Lower risk of premature death = People who sat for eight hours a day but were otherwise active.

Risk of premature death = People who spent fewer hours sitting but were also less active.

Greater risk of premature death = People who sat for long periods of time and did not exercise.

Which category would you have fallen under in this study?

If you sit for eight or more hours per day and do not counter this with exercise, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk for premature death. It’s very important to stay active throughout the day, even with a busy desk job.

At Aliat, our employees have wearable devices to track physical activity. One feature we love on the Fitbit is the Hourly Activity Log. You can customize your Hourly Activity Goal, starting with at least 250 steps.  This is equal to about two and a half minutes – or a quick walk across your office to the restroom or water cooler.

It’s important to create a positive company culture where coworkers engage in activity and encourage a healthy lifestyle. There are so many “tips and tricks” for wellness in the workplace, but the truth is there is no secret method to staying healthy. It all comes down to breaking off excuses, finding your motivation, staying active…and starting today.