Fight Obesity & Back Pain at Work
Who doesn’t want to lose weight without having to make an extreme effort? How many people do you know that have back pain or wish to prevent it while working at a desks for eight hours a day? It turns out that one simple change in the way you work can make a big difference for both these issues. What is that change?
Stand part of the day. Yep. It is that simple. Alternate sitting and standing during your work day. Aim for at least two hours of standing a day. In addition to easing weight and back pain issues, standing part of the day has been proven to lower the risk of many major illnesses that shorten lifespan.
Experts have known for more than 30 years that sitting all day is a major health hazard. Workers who sit in a fixed seated position all day have more pain problems and are far more likely to suffer from chronic health problems including obesity, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.
A recent medical journal study documented that people who sit most of the day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack than those that do not. This is true even if they were not smokers and get regular exercise outside of the office! The New York Times Magazine recently reported that the death rate for people who sit for more than six hours a day was 20% higher for men and 40% higher for women than it was for those who sat less than three hours a day.
Dr. Mark Benden of Texas A&M University has documented his research that standing two hours a day can result in a 20 pound weight loss over a year’s time. How’s that for losing some extra flab without finding time or exerting the effort of a gym? Check out this free whitepaper that offers research summaries of how to use standing to reduce healthcare costs and improve worker productivity.
Some quick tips to add the option of standing part of the day at work:
- Purchase a height adjustable desk with adequate range to accommodate both sitting and standing. This article will teach you how to pick the best height adjustable desk.
- Get a taller desk or use risers (or the cheap fix of cinder blocks) to raise your existing desk to standing height, then get a drafting chair to use when sitting.
- Add a sit/ stand keyboard tray (also known as an above the desk keyboard tray) and a monitor arm with enough height range to accommodate standing and sitting, or add the Neutral Posture Standup to your existing keyboard tray system. The SpaceCo Scissor Lift is also a popular sit/ stand converter.
- Get a device that attaches to your desk that lifts your monitor, keyboard and mouse. The Ergotron Workfit and the HealthPostures Taskmate both fit this bill.
- Add a thick anti-fatigue mat for standing. This will keep your feet from hurting and reduce stress on your back. It’s also good to elevate one foot at a time and alternate the foot up.
So you worried about the cost? How much does it cost to undergo treatment for back pain, or weight loss? How much work time will you lose if you have health problems? Investing in a healthier workstation is a true bargain that can payoff for years.
In summary, get off your fanny for at least part of the day at work and live a longer, pain-free life, as well as drop a few pounds. You may find you like it.
Need help figuring out the best way to improve your health while working? Ergoprise’s experts will gladly assist you with finding the right products for you.
Share your best tricks for a healthy office and tell us what you do at work to improve your pain or health.