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Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

Tips to Survive Sitting all day at Work

”In a typical working day, people spend an average of 7.7 hours sitting” – 2008 Vanderbilt University study

If you work in an office environment, there is a good chance that most of your workday involves sitting at your work desk. In fact, according to British Psychological Society, people spend an average of 5 hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desk. Once you factor in commutes, television, and more – people are sitting long enough that it begins to negatively impact their health.

This BPS study concluded that:

  • Nearly 70% of employees surveyed did not meet recommended guidelines for physical activity.
  • Employees who sit for longer at work are more likely to sit outside of work.
  • There is a correlation between BMI scores and sitting time at work, as one would expect.
  • That more time spent sitting at work was associated with a decrease in mental well-being.
  • Chronic sitting has been associated with serious health consequences like weight gain, back pain, diabetes and heart disease.

All hope is not lost, however, here are a few tips to help get you through a sedentary job:

Set an hourly alarm on your phone:
Set your cellphone to remind you to get up for a few minutes to rise, stretch, and move around every hour. Figure out ways to work this in to your work schedule, for photo copies, breaks, or other office tasks.

Learn how to exercise at your desk: There are many exercises that can be done in your chair. Try watching our YouTube video series “Exercise at your Desk” that features exercises for your lower back, stomach, hips, and overall core.

In Conclusion
Now that you know the risks of too much sitting, remain proactive in your workday and get up every hour to move around. If you’re able to exercise on your breaks, even better. Additionally, you may want to consider contacting an ergonomics expert to assess your work environment.

As always, be sure to share these tips with your workers or employees and for more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit or Contact Us for more detailed information.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

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