For many people, being tethered to a desk all day is an unavoidable part of their job. Between constant projects, never-ending deadlines, and back-to-back meetings, many employees spend more time sitting than anything else. Sure, there are plenty of jobs that are physically demanding, and the stress those positions show on the body are readily apparent. For people who work in offices, however, their workplace dangers often go unnoticed until it’s too late.
Can Sitting Too Long Increase Risk of Injuries and Health Problems?
In one word: absolutely.
Not long ago, the Harvard Medical School outlined findings of an Annals of Internal Medicine publication, whereby researchers discovered people who live a sedentary lifestyle, “had a higher risk of dying from all causes — even those who exercised regularly.”
Office employees spend most of their work days sitting, which is a problem all by itself. Add to that the amount of time they spend sitting while commuting or hanging out relaxing on the couch at the end of the day trying to decompress from their stressful days at work, and you’ve tallied an inconceivable amount of backside-to-chair time.
According to the study, prolonged sitting can cause a number of health issues, including the following:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Increased cancer risks
- Potentially increased risk of dementia and other mental health issues
In addition to these health issues, prolonged sitting has been attributed to poor posture, muscle pain and bad backs.
Can Ergonomic Work Areas Enhance Employees’ Health Statuses?
The problem with most office jobs is that people are sitting for prolonged periods of time. This means the blood is often trapped in certain areas of the body and accumulates over time. A healthy body needs to keep the blood flowing properly throughout the circulatory system. Without proper blood flow, your employees may become tired in the afternoons or experience costly illnesses that could completely halt productivity altogether.
Ergonomic work spaces are designed to be body-friendly. They promote proper posture, eliminate stagnation, and enhance employees’ overall body health. From proper monitor placement to supportive chairs and ergonomic keyboards, today’s science allows you to prevent stagnation while ensuring your employees’ bodies are well-maintained.
How Can You Create a Comfortable Work Environment for Your Employees?
Above all else, you want to be sure you’re providing tools that enable your employees to be comfortable. Remember, every person is different, so you’ll want to adhere to individual requests as much as possible. Try to integrate the following into your workplace:
- Ergonomic keyboards that prevent wrist-rest when people are typing;
- High-quality chairs that support all angles of the lumbar system;
- Standing workstations, which allow employees to work on their feet when they’ve been sitting too long;
- Approved breaks for fitness, yoga, and meditation classes, which improve cognitive abilities and restore employees’ focuses.
Ergonomic health is just one aspect of managing your most important asset – your employees. Insight Performance is a team of specialized, experienced HR professionals who can guide you through best work practices and help ensure you lay the groundwork for ongoing success. Contact us to learn more about our HR services today.