Sitting is the new smoking.
It’s the terrifying proclamation with the power to spur any office worker into a fit of jump squatting and updating their will.
While the oft-heard warning has potentially been exaggerated for effect, there is no doubt as to the dangerous effects of prolonged sitting in the workplace.
As more research emerges into the worrying side effects of unhealthy work habits, an increased effort is being made to improve the ergonomics of offices around the country.
In addition to increased employee safety, comfortable workers will be happier and more productive, and active steps from an employer to improve staff satisfaction will boost morale and make for a healthier team culture.
The good news is that improving ergonomics doesn’t require a full office redesign. Here are 5 simple things you can change today to ensure the health and safety of you or your workers.
Selecting the right chair is the crucial first step in ensuring comfort and reducing stress on your back and neck. Ideally a chair should be gas height adjustable with lumbar support, back and seat tilt, adjustable armrests and a sturdy five-point base on castor wheels. The Cascade chair features all these benefits and proves that ergonomics doesn’t have to break the bank, while the Pronto Mesh Back chair offers the ultimate in design and comfort for your workplace.
While the right chair is the starting point to maximise ergonomics in the workplace, it is ideal to achieve a balance of sitting and standing throughout the day. Height-adjustable desks are recognised as the way forward in office design, rapidly being installed in workplaces everywhere. Whether it’s a simple extension to transform an existing workstation into a sit stand desk, or a complete desk solution – there is an option to suit any office.
The position of your monitor is crucial in maintaining a healthy posture. Whether you’re sitting or standing, monitor arms allow you to keep your head and shoulders in correct alignment with the screen, and your eyes a safe distance away. On top of this, having the screen mounted frees up space on your desk, reducing clutter and allowing items to be arranged for safe and easy reaching.
Sitting at a desk for too long severely hampers blood circulation, resulting in tiredness, stiffness and overall decreased productivity. An anti-fatigue mat, such as the Rapid Refresh Mat, promotes circulation with stimulating mounds to massage your feet and get the blood flowing.
Turn any corner desk into a fully-functional and ergonomically safe workstation with a slide-on desk lozenge, suitable for most desk sizes and thicknesses. This allows you to position your keyboard at a safe working distance, reducing strain on your back and neck.
With so much evidence highlighting the detrimental effects of unsafe work practices, the importance of office ergonomics is hard to ignore. Updating your workplace or home office with these simple solutions will reduce the health risks of sitting at a desk all day, and ensure your 9-5 doesn’t effectively turn you into a chain smoker.