Increasing amount of computer use and sedentary postures in the working environment is contributing to the increased risk of chronic disease. Working in an office environment has always been thought of as safe, however the long periods of un-interrupted sitting is increasing our risk of developing diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore meaning that being sedentary can be extremely detrimental to our health.
When work demands increase, so too does the duration for which we sit. More workplaces are implementing strategies to become more active, however these strategies always become seconded when there is a major deadline to meet. In reality, these strategies should be used at all times in the office, with harsh outcomes from sedentary postures a large possibility.
Workers who exercise regularly can argue that because they perform large amounts of exercise that they can sit for long durations through the day. Being sedentary is not the same as being physically inactive. Both contribute to the increased risk of chronic disease and therefore should be thought of separately, meaning that no matter what your activity levels are outside of work, avoiding long durations of sedentary postures is important.
In the majority of office workers, 75% of the working day is spent in sitting, with large proportions being un-interrupted sitting. Breaking this cycle is critical for decreasing the chance of developing chronic disease.
Here, we list some strategies to avoid the long hours of sedentary positions;
- Sit-stand tables
- These are becoming more popular in offices and are a fantastic tool for improving movement through the day. Rather than using them to stand for hours on end, the most effective way to use a sit-stand table is to move it between sitting and standing regularly, as the regular movement is critical. We recommend to sit for 45 minutes and stand for 15 minutes.
- Standing meetings
- Changing your current meetings is an easy way to give your co-workers an opportunity to move more and can often be more efficient, meaning that they are good for your health and save time!
- Enforce regular sitting breaks
- Have specific times through the day where you will have a set break from sitting. This can be the time where you do all your printing or photocopying, empty your rubbish bin, make a cup of coffee or stand at your desk and read a document.
- Have your calendar give you reminders to take a break so you don’t forget.
- Go for a lunch time walk
- Try to get out of the office after you eat your lunch and do not eat lunch at your desk. It will help to break up your day, clear your head and put you in a good mind frame for the second half of the day.
- Get a co-worker involved as it is always good for motivation if there is more than one person involved.
- Incidental movement
- Doing things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator if it’s only a couple of flights, standing when you take a phone call or reading a document, walking to talk to a colleague instead of contacting them by instant message or e-mail and only half filling your glass or bottle with water so you have to get up more often will provide more movement through the day too.
The number one principle is movement. The more we move the better for our health, and the greater chance we have at preventing chronic disease.
Written by Matt Fulco. Through the completion of extensive post graduate professional development, Matt demonstrates a very high level of knowledge and skill for his age. He has a very well rounded skill set that enables him to accurately assess and diagnose a vast range of injuries and implement the best evidence based treatments available.
If your concerned you are sitting too long every day and it may be effecting your health book into see Matt by checking is availability below.