Well, I guess many employees would tongue in cheek say yes to this question, but there is a far more important factor at play - you could be suffering from a disease that until now you might not even know existed.
Medical experts are now coining a new phrase called “sitting disease” which can affect many employees who work in office environments, seated for long hours at an office chair in front of their desk. If you work in an office and spend a long time in front of a computer then we encourage you to read on.
How Much Time Spent Sitting Down?
Have you ever calculated how many hours exactly that you sit in front of your office desk? Then add onto to that the time you are driving, sitting for a meal, or sat in front of the TV. It’s a lot of hours isn’t it?
The Mayo Clinic based in the United States have researched this issue and their statistics state that between 50 and 70 percent of Western workers will spend more than 6 hours sitting down – that’s a long time and very concerning.
Dr Busch of Busch Chiropractic in Fort Wayne actually stated the following concerning sitting disease.
"A highly sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your system and has serious negative effects on our health. Sitting for extended periods puts extra stress on your spine and increases your risk for back injuries."
"In order to stay healthy, our joints, muscles, and other tissues need to move. Over time, reduced activity can not only limit your range of motion and cause back problems but contributes to many health issues and significantly shorten your lifespan."
Health Risks for Office and Desk Workers
In terms of health risks that office workers can be at risk of if they spend many hours in front of their office desk can include items such as:
- increased risk of chronic back and neck pain
- a proclivity for herniated discs
- shorter life expectancy
- increased risk for Type 2 diabetes
- increased risk for heart disease and some cancers
Reduce Risks with These Tips
If you are concerned and want to reduce your chances of suffering from sitting disease then there are some things that you can do in order to lessen those risks. Believe it or not, but just a little bit of exercise can work wonders.
Just by moving around more, for example by taking a walk around the office every hour can help with the following items:
- burns more calories
- reduces body fat
- improves circulation
- strengthens muscles
- increases insulin sensitivity
- improves mood
- reduces load on spine
How to Stay Healthier in the Workplace
Dr Busch who we referenced earlier has some tips for office workers, or those that work in a home office environment that can help you ward off sitting disease. You can see those below:
- walk while you are talking on the phone
- set a timer to remind yourself to get up at least once an hour
- use a pedometer or Fitbit to track (and increase) your daily number of steps
- take the stairs, instead of the elevator, up one floor or down two
- every time you cross something off your to-do list, stand up for a stretching break
- don’t sit for one-on-one meetings — have a walking meeting around the block or around the building
- park further away from your office building, the restaurants you go to for lunch, the grocery store, etc.
Changing to a Sit-to-Stand Office Desk
Another thing you could to is switch from a traditional office desk to a sit-to-stand adjustable model. Additional research shows that people who stand up whilst working will tend to offer more movement to their body and muscles.
According to a Stanford University study, workers who used sit-to-stand desks were 78% more likely to report a pain-free day.
This will in turn help to combat sitting disease, and can bring important health benefits to help fight all of the issues that we have highlighted in this article.
So with that in mind, we would encourage you to shop at Kima Office Furniture and find a comfortable sitting or standing office desk solution so that you can take care of yourselves into the future whilst working.