Are you sitting right now? And have you been sitting for most of the day? Chances are, if you’re an office worker, the answer is yes. And if so, you’re not alone. Shockingly, 84% of office workers say they sit for four or more hours a day, and more than 50% of those workers say they sit for six or more hours a day, according to research from furniture manufacturer Allsteel.
There is no shortage of studies that speak to the negative and long lasting effects that sitting down all day has on your overall health, including an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, and musculoskeletal disorders, to name a few. But the good news is there are several easy ways to change up your sedentary workday and lessen or avoid the effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time.
The head of Allsteel’s Ergonomics Group, Dr. Lauren Gant, shares a few easy ways to infuse your workday with mobility, even when your day requires you to be at the office.
Think outside the desk. Move to alternate working areas when possible, even if it’s just a different area of your desk. Changing up your seating location every so often will help adjust your posture so you’re not stuck in the same position all day. Or when possible, take your work to a different area of the office, like an area with standing-height counters or tables, or office areas with more relaxed seating.
Meet on your feet. Leave the conference room behind and opt to meet your colleagues while you’re on the move. Try a walk outdoors, walking around the building or standing in an open area. Not an option? Try pacing or standing while on the phone to help break up a sedentary day (while respecting the office environment and your coworkers’ space, of course).
Sit back and relax. Reclining at your desk and fidgeting while you’re seated can help vary your posture throughout the day. Changing up your position in small ways can help reduce your exposure to the effects of sitting for long periods of time.
Take a stand. With the growing availability of alternative workstations like sit-stand desks, there are a number of ways to stay productive while you tackle your work without being in a seated position. Investing in an alternative workstation can lead to a lifetime of comfort and good health.
So will these small adjustments actually make a difference in your day? Take a look:
Allsteel’s The Importance of Movement in the Workplace