Sitting several hours a day can be very harmful to the human body. In fact, it is the sedentary lifestyle in general that is the big culprit. However, many jobs require sitting a good part of the day in front of a computer. So, what are you supposed to do?
First, it is necessary to adapt your workstation according to your needs and morphology so that the environment does not become a source of stress and discomfort that could possibly affect your productivity and your well-being. The image below shows an adequate posture.
Is it bad to sit?
In fact, it is rather to remain in the same static posture that represents a problem. Working on the spot all day would not be more beneficial. Indeed, it puts pressure on our joints. An alternation of standing and sitting while working is ideal. Businesses are becoming more aware of this type of work and height-adjustable workstations are becoming more affordable. These allow employees to work sitting and standing, as they see fit, without having to change workstations.
It is interesting to note that the rise in interest in this type of workstation began as a result of a publication of a study by the American Cancer Society. This study mentions that women sitting more than 6 hours a day versus those sitting less than 3 hours have a premature death rate of 37% higher. For men the rate is 18% .
Some tips to improve your posture
There are several tips to adopt daily. Some experts suggest the 20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of work, you would need to move for 20 seconds and, every two hours, you would need to move about fifteen minutes more actively.
You have a meeting; do you really need to be seated? If not, why not do it while walking? Why not get the habit of having a smaller bottle of water that will require you to get up more often to fill it? Have your documents printed to a printer in another department! The exercise ball can also be used as an office chair. It helps to work the stabilizing muscles and obliges to keep the back straight. If you’re really motivated, there’s the treadmill-desk that lets you move while working.
Shortly, there are all kinds of solutions. Each person is different and has their own needs and constraints. That’s why the best way to find out what you or your employees need is to work with an ergonomist who can analyze your workstations and make suggestions.
In the meantime, here is a CNESST reminder for the layout of your workstation.