We spend a huge amount of time sitting at our office or home desks and that means this is one spot that can either make or break your health. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of office work that we allow unhealthy habits to slip into our routine without even realising it. More often than not, we rid ourselves of long-term health and happiness by making poor choices, which result in health mistakes in the office. More and more companies are stressing the importance of office ergonomics in order to keep their employees healthy reducing time off and ultimately increasing office productivity.
There is increasing evidence that, unless you are a wheelchair user, sitting down too much can be a risk to your health. To reduce our risk of ill health from inactivity, we are advised to exercise regularly, at least 150 minutes a week, and reduce sitting time, and studies have linked being inactive with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death.
Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat and many adults in the UK spend around 9 hours a day sitting. This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train but does not include sleeping. Getting up and moving around is vital and you can do that in many different ways and as a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to get up and move for every 30 minutes you sit down. Height adjustable desk and standing for some of the time are the perfect solution.
Workers who spend a lot of their day seated at a desk are prone to strains and other injuries related to posture and repetitive movement. Poor equipment design can contribute to people getting injured, such as incorrect chair height, inadequate equipment spacing or incorrect desk height, and are one of the main attributes to health mistakes in the office. Ergonomic office furniture is a great way to ensure that your body is supported whilst you’re sitting, but even then, you need to make sure that your body is upright and aligned.
The best way to go about this is to sit in a neutral posture, with your back straight. Remember to mind your elbows and wrists, making sure that your arms form a 90-degree angle to promote the natural positioning of the hands. Acquiring a high value office chair with arm rests will allow you to maintain the proper posture
While maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge in the workplace, poor choice of food are one of the leading causes of decreased productivity. In most offices or work environments, sugary and highly processed foods are the norm, especially for special occasions. Studies have reported that most junk food is bad for your brain, that it can impact your memory and mood, all the while increasing the risk of dementia. It is estimated that dementia will affect more than 65 million people worldwide by 2030.
However, this doesn’t mean you must avoid all these foods completely. One of the best things you can do for your productivity and health is to follow a balanced diet, rich in fresh whole foods. Packing your own lunch every day is a good idea to make sure you get your nutrition in check while avoiding the afternoon vending machine run.
Taking frequent breaks at work is not only beneficial for our physical health, but also for our mental health. Although most UK employees have the opportunity to take an hour lunch break, only a third take advantage of this by stepping away from their desks regularly1. Many employees are used to rushing through to-do lists to complete tasks as quickly as possible. As well as this not being good for our physical health, it can also take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing, with it being proven that taking regular breaks reduces stress levels and increases productivity.
For further information on choosing the correct furniture to combat health mistakes in the office please contact us here.