Health concerns are sure to arise if ergonomically correct office furniture are not used in workplaces. In the same breadth, the well being of employees can also be compromised if furniture is too comfortable so that they sit indefinitely and ‘forget to stand.’
What drives office workers to sit still for long? When one is engrossed with something, focus is paramount. This is the main reason why employees are glued to their seats for an indefinite period of time and often ‘forget to stand.’ Remember, doing the extreme like sitting or standing for a very long time is not advisable . Strike a balance and avoid the extremes to promote employee health and manage any work related risks.
What are the risks? Sitting for long periods of time carries risks associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome (Mayo Clinic). Metabolic syndrome is actually a group of health concerns that include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess of body fats particularly around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting and reduced physical activity increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
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How long must one sit? No standard has yet been reached as to how long an office worker should be seated before it can be considered unhealthy. However, a parallel research on duration indicates that on the average, an office worker spends around 5 hours and 41 minutes (British Psychological Society) seated on their chairs and table on a daily basis. The duration of time spent sitting down is not continuous and does not include the little walks taken during breaks or going to the powder room.
Office workers ‘forget to stand’ behavior must be reduced. Medical professionals welcome a conscious effort to get workers out of their cubicles and chairs and exercise mobility throughout the day. Imbue a habit of talking to colleagues personally instead of using e-mails or pasting post-it notes on screens as reminders. Besides, personal interaction promotes employee health and sociability among workers while fostering camaraderie.
Don’t ever forget to stand! This is the simplest of advice that is huge in terms of health benefits. Even amidst a very absorbing work day, never sacrifice health; therefore stand-up or walk from time to time. Make it even a habit as one must remain healthy to be able to work continuously. Never be part of the statistics that reveals a discouraging percentage that office workers ‘forget to stand’.
Remember your health is your concern, sitting still and forgetting to stand for a considerable period of time carries related employee health issues.
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