Although evidence is forever evolving, and can be conflicting at times regarding this topic, its well known that sitting for prolonged periods can be damaging to our health, even if exercise is a part of your daily life. Many positives result from sitting less and being active, such as reducing the risks of chronic diseases and developing musculoskeletal disorders.
The Heart Foundation highlight the benefits of implementing a strategy that focuses on reducing sitting periods, encourages movement, and is combined with regular exercise. Additionally, supplementary research has concluded the following:
- Changes in posture are effective in reducing discomfort in the body, back, lower limb and upper limb.
- Workers that undertake an average of 3.6 adjustments or 23 minutes of standing a day reported a 62% decrease in discomfort. More than half the rate of injury and illness was also reported by these workers.
- Using adjustable sit/stand work stations showed to increase productivity. This is due to decreased work breaks taken to undertake the traditional time away from the desk to achieve a standing break
Modelling behaviour is a great tool to help engage your workers into a new initiative. A standing friendly culture is best promoted when managers and supervisors partake in the activity. Other great tips to help you or your workers to stay active in the working environment:
- Take the stairs instead of lifts
- Use sit to stand desks
- Use separately located bins and /printers
- Walk to colleagues desk instead of phoning or emailing
- Have standing meetings
- Eat your lunch away from your desk
- Stand at the back of the room during presentations
Before investing into a sit to stand it is important to consider it’s functional capacity/usability. A sit to stand desk will be more positively received if:
- A minium number of individual steps required for operation of the controls
- The ability to make the adjustments rapidly
- Keeping the adjustment mechanism in close proximity to the keying position
Not sure if your workstation is ergonomically friendly? Our professional team of OT’s, Physios and EP’s will provide you with the right advice to ensure your working environment suits you. Contact us on 1300 OHS RTW for further information.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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