Home » Blog » Preventing Sitting Disease & Promoting Workplace Wellness
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), sitting for extended periods of time can be incredibly detrimental to one’s personal health. The sedentary lifestyle of many people, both at work and at home, can be costly. But preventing sitting disease—what experts call the negative consequences brought on by long periods of physical inactivity—and promoting workplace wellness can be as simple as allowing your employees to stand at their leisure and still be able to work comfortably.
What Is Sitting Disease and What Are The Risks?
A 2008 Vanderbilt University study of 6,300 people estimated that the average American spends 55% of their waking time, or 7.7 hours per day, in sedentary behaviors such as sitting. Excessive sitting has a negative impact on the metabolic system and can lead to increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression, cardiovascular disease, and more. “Sitting disease” has even been called “the new smoking” by some experts, as sitting for most of the day can increase the risk of heart attack to “about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, a Cardiologist with Mayo Clinic.
To make matters worse, according to a 2010 report from the University of Queensland School of Population Health, “Even when adults meet physical activity guidelines, sitting for prolonged periods can compromise metabolic health.” So even if your employees are getting regular exercise, sitting all day is still going to negatively affect them.
What Can Be Done?
So what’s the best way to combat sitting disease and ensure that your business is promoting workplace wellness? Both the AMA and the CDC recommend sit/stand desks to allow employees to take control of their health and work environment. And if that wasn’t enough, according to an Ipsos study approximately 60% of employees surveyed were convinced that they would be more productive of they had the option to work on their feet. Three out of four full-time employees of large companies wish they didn’t spend most of their working hours sitting. And 67% of U.S. office workers wish their employers offered desks that could be adjusted for seated or standing work. It isn’t just scientists who are convinced of the benefits of standing at work—it’s employees themselves, too.
A Simple Solution: Sit-Stand Monitor Workstations
An effective sitting and standing workstation will allow employees to transition from sitting and standing with minimal effort. A convenient storage tray that can hold your mouse, notebook, keyboard, or other work items adjusts right along with the monitor stand so you can always have your necessary items within the ergonomic reach unique to you. The monitor stands transition and lock into place smoothly with no jerky motions, and adjustments can be done by a single person. The monitor stands are also free-standing, so they can integrate with any desk or work surface so you can use your existing furniture. The stands also allow for individual monitor adjustment, and cable clips and storage trays keep cables secure and out of the way. The monitor stands also come in 1, 2, 3, or 4 monitor configurations.
A 2011 study by the CDC showed that when workers used standing desks and reduced their sitting time by just an hour a day, they reduced they upper back and neck pain by 54% and experienced improvements in their mood. However, it’s important to educate yourself and your employees how they should be standing. Arms should be at a 90 degree angle with wrists in a neutral position, computer monitor at eye level and the screen at a 20 degree tilt, 20 to 28 inches from your eyes; knees should be slightly bent, and employees should wear comfortable flat shoes or even go barefoot, if possible. You also shouldn’t stand all day; chiropractor Dr. Rob DeStefano recommends alternating back and forth between sitting and standing at about 30 minute intervals. He recommends adjustable monitor stands so employees can transition from sitting to standing and vice versa at their leisure.
Contact Us For More Information
Southwest Solutions Group® can help you get started on promoting workplace wellness and providing a healthy, adaptable, and productive working environment for your employees. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs before our process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.
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