Standing or sitting at work?

10th October 2015

Sitting, Standing, Work, OH Physio

To Sit or not to sit Have you noticed the recent focus on the negative effect sitting has on our health? Whether at work or while relaxing at home, more and more evidence is surfacing to suggest that prolonged periods of sitting are not good for us.

Sitting or Standing? Poor fitness of the heart, weak muscles, cancer, stroke ...... the list goes on. Surely though we have been sitting for hundreds of years – why is there a sudden problem?

As with all media reports of “scientific studies”, it is important to see the full picture before jumping to conclusions. More studies with greater confidence in their conclusions are required to be sure of the headlines. That said, our lives are clearly more sedentary than those of our parents and grandparents. Technology requires brain and finger power but little movement of the body. So whether watching TV, using a computer at work or checking Facebook on the ipad, your total daily activity is vulnerable to erosion by passiveness.

Whilst we are able to sit comfortably for long periods, we are designed to periodically move. This keeps our core and moving muscles strong, our heart working efficiently and gives us a general sense of alertness.

We speak and work with many companies to help reduce the impact of musculoskeletal injuries within the workplace, as this is a key area linked with sitting. Here are our top 3 tips to get more active when you are in work:

1. Take the stairs over the lift..... every time.
Two or three flights of stairs will challenge your heart, lungs and leg muscles. It will raise your general fitness. If you’re on the 5th floor..... no excuses – walk to the 3rd and take the lift from there!

2. Stand to take phone calls.
If you are on the phone and not using the keyboard, stand. You’ll strengthen your legs and engage your core, keeping fit and stronger.

3. Get outside at lunchtime.
The temptation to grab a sandwich at the desk is great, but lunchtime should be all about change:
- change of position
- change of location
- change of focus

A daily walk and break from the desk, even if only for 15 mins, will improve your fitness, focus and afternoon productivity. Good luck with applying these simple suggestions, contact us if you have any questions or would like to chat through our employee health and wellbeing services which reduce absenteeism and improved workplace health & wellbeing.