Ahhh, the big old debate on what we should do at work. Should we sit until we finish our work? Should we move about without chairs altogether? Should we schedule mandatory breaks for the staff? Or should we keep the office chair style casual? All these questions run through an employer’s head when they are moving to a new location, changes are made usually with the employees’ best interest in mind. However, what do we really know so far about what is healthier at work?
What do we know so far?
There is such a thing as Sitting Disease
Science has gone back and forth trying to prove that a sitting disease is something that exists and we should all be worried about it hitting us. Spending most of your day sitting about, whether it’s behind a desk at the office, or on the couch at home, can really affect your body in a lot of ways that you may not know of.
Recent research suggests that people who sit down more than 10 hours a day are more likely to have issues with their backs, necks, and even internal organ systems. Obviously sitting disease is a form of these issues coming together. Not only does it hurt your body physically, but you become more adaptive to being tired faster and feeling the constant need to sit down as that is more comfortable for you.
Health problems are common when sitting too long
Research has found that sitting for too long in uncomfortable arrangements can lead to heart disease, obesity and stroke. What you are doing while sitting can also adversely affect these issues even further, add on to that hypertension, poor blood circulation, diabetes or low blood sugar levels, anemia, and perhaps even cancer.
Lack of activity as we know it for the longest time can cause untimely deaths, problems with digestion and much more permanent damage to your body and health.
Muscle and joint pain is natural progress
Obviously, posture is everything when it comes to sitting down, so, if you do not have a strong aligned posture then your body is more than likely to suffer pain in the joints and muscles. More importantly, the back, lower back, and neck can become extremely strained leading to other issues including depression.
Muscle and joint pains can also come from poor blood circulation or be symptoms to much bigger issues like stroke or hypertension.
Obesity may happen right under your nose
What are you doing when you sit down? Most people are tempted to eat, especially when they are sitting on a couch or a comfortable sofa. If you are working too much, while sitting in an uncomfortable posture, you can also be damaging the path of your natural digestive system, which can be affected by stress as well. Over-eating, stress, and tension actually go hand-in-hand to cause certain types of obesity or sudden weight gain.
In favor of a sit-in desk
No real sufficient evidence has been found to support that sit-in desks really do cause this much harm. However, if you can feel a strain on your body, you need to stop, stand up, and do some stretching. If you are uncomfortable doing that in the office, take a walk and schedule regular breaks for yourself.
Every 20 to 30 minutes, you should stand and move for 2 minutes, according to specialists who believe that regular breaks can break up the habit of sitting too long and allow you to mentally asses your work.
Sitting down in a proper posture, can actually help you focus, according to a recent study published at Cornell. However, the healthy focus period depends on the level of attention required by the action you are taking while seated. For example, if you are working on something that requires more of your mental attention, you are more likely to unconsciously bend over it and strain your body, while something that requires minimal laser focus or something that is more creative will leave your posture intact longer.
In favor of stand-up desk
Many employers have invested in the stand-sit desk that can be adjusted. This type of desk can actually help you schedule your breaks better and make sure you reach that limit and proper posture. A stand-up desk however, may cause some strain if you lean on it for too long, on your lower back and your feet, so be careful!
A stand-up desk can actually offer you some constant movement. Some new technologies have been supposedly introduced to high end companies like Apple and Google that are walking-desks. Those can offer a steadier movement. However, they tend to be pricey. The constant movement can’t be very good for your body as it will adapt to it eventually rending it another reason for your body to be strained.
All your body’s pressure is held very well on your feet. More and more likely you will feel the need to have a seat as you are causing pain to your feet, your back and your muscles.
Stand up desks may help with some digestive issues or to straighten postures if you are suffering from a back-ache or you are just feeling that fuzziness when your limbs become numb. Make sure that you give your body the rest it needs especially when you are working your mind and your body on hard work.