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Ergonomics Tips: The True Cost of Sitting Down All Day at Work

“Sedentary time — even among physically active people — may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and more.”American Heart Association

Does your office have staff that needs to spend eight or more hours a day in a chair? Even those passionate about their jobs suffer from sitting all day. The key to avoiding back pain and other costly ailments is to get your staff up and moving.

Unconvinced about the importance of getting your employees out of their seats? Keep reading below for a guide on how sitting down all day is costing you and your employees money.

We sit a lot.

Research says on average; we sit for nine hours a day. Most of those parked behind a computer for work, but also leisure like tv watching or smart phone browsing.

While we may not realize this is a problem, it is. Our bodies are designed for activity.

Sitting down decreases our daily burn.

We don’t burn nearly as many calories when sitting as compared to exercise or even walking. Digestion is also not as efficient when we sit. Facts like these mean it is easy to put on weight. Pair this with office snacking, before you know it you could gain ten pounds.

In addition to slowing our metabolism and limiting our calorie burning, sitting all day impacts our muscles.

When we sit, we aren’t using our muscles as they are intended. This leaves our muscles weaker than normal, ultimately increasing our chances of injury from falls or strain when we are active.

Correlations between sitting and disease.

Consequences of sitting for extended periods go beyond just excess weight gain. Several diseases are more common in those who live sedentary lives.

Made worse by poor posture, too much sitting can wreak havoc on your back. Disc compression and sciatica are two of the most common ailments. Deep vein thrombosis can also become a concern.

For those of us working at a computer, stiff necks and shoulders are often a daily struggle.

One easy remedy for many of these issues is to invest in an ergonomics assessment to ensure all equipment is ideal for keeping your staff safe and injury free.

In conclusion.

It should now be clear: sitting down all day isn’t healthy. It’s unhealthy and can cost billions in negative consequences.

You don’t have to make drastic changes and start hitting the gym at 5 AM to counteract the effects of sitting either. Investing in proper equipment, such as ergonomic workstations and peripherals or instilling daily office walks is an easy way to get started. Not only will walks keep people active, but it will also be a great chance to socialize, which is great for workers as well.

If you are not an office administrator or manager, we suggest contacting your office’s human resource department to see about conducting an ergonomics assessment to determine how to best combat too much sitting in the workplace.

For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for ergonomics guidance. Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

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