A man who almost died from a massive blood clot has urged people to “get up and get moving” every 90 minutes.
Paul Westerman, founder of RBR Active which campaigns to raise awareness of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), said sedentary lifestyles were a major risk to people’s health.
He said that moving every hour and a half could drastically reduce a person’s chances of suffering a life-threatening injury that costs the NHS £200 million every single year.
He said: “Even though DVT and PE are preventable conditions, not many people know how to prevent them.
“If you spend most of your time sitting down – whether at work or during your leisure time – you may be more likely to get a potentially fatal blood clot than those who are more active.
“Blood clots kill more people each year than AIDs, breast cancer, prostate cancer and motor vehicle crashes combined.
“It’s a serious problem and we need to be urging people to get up and get moving to do something about it.
“You don’t need a full-blown workout. A simple stroll around your office or up and down your stairs will do it.
“It’s a tiny little thing that you could do, and which could save your life.”
Paul suffered a blood clot in his leg following a minor tennis injury. A few days later he was fighting for his life after the clot travelled through his heart to his lungs causing a pulmonary embolism.
He said: “The risk of a blood clot is increased when we sit still.
“Even being active once a week or going to the gym doesn’t stop you from getting a DVT. You need to move throughout the day. This is the only way to get blood moving through your lower limbs.”
Paul’s comments came after a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that more than a quarter of people worldwide – 1.4 billion – are not doing enough physical exercise, a figure that has barely improved since 2001.
The study also claimed that inactivity raises the risk of a raft of other health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and some cancers.