Maintaining health and comfort at work

Ergonomics is an essential part of the office setting.

Encourage employees to take ergonomics seriously with proper sitting positions and stretching.

Encourage employees to take ergonomics seriously with proper sitting positions and stretching.

Health and safety is a vital part of any work day. Although many businesses have made changes to office environments and manufacturing processes, there is still more that can be done to ensure employees are safe and comfortable during their time on the job.

One of the newest innovations many are taking advantage of at work is the standing desk. Standing desks allow employees to move from their chairs and into a vertical position, circulating a different kind of blood flow, stretching the limbs and reducing the risk of potential serious diseases.

“The way we live now is to sit all day, occasionally punctuated by a walk from the parking lot to the office,” he said in a Smithsonian Magazine article. “The default has become to sit. We need the default to be standing.”

Although standing desks have been touted as the best way an employee can get some exercise during the day, a recent study has found they may not be as great as previously believed. The study, conducted by researchers at Loughborough University found that standing at work more frequently may cause employees to be stationary more often outside of the office.

During the evening hours, researchers found that participants were more like to sit, and for longer periods of time, the more they stood at their desks during the day. Although making one healthy change is always a great start, without making a complete lifestyle change or other changes as well, real benefits cannot be completely reaped.

How can employees enhance their health and comfort in other ways during the day?

  • Break up the day: As long as employees are getting their work done, encourage them to step away from their desk as often as possible. Moving away from the desk is a great way to give the mind and the body a break. Instead of grouping errands together, run each separately to maximize walking time as well.
  • Get active during lunch: Although a lunch break is often the only time during the day that employees are able to take some time for themselves, it’s important to keep health in mind during this time. Instead of sitting elsewhere for a whole break, try sitting for half and then standing or walking around for the other half. This is also a great way to break up the day.
  • Stretch it out: According to some experts, stretching during work can relax the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating stress hormones. Taking time throughout the day to stretch, even if only for a few minutes, is a great way to keep the blood flowing, and the body nimble to go.

Ergonomics are an important part of the office setting. Be sure employees keep health, wellness, and safe work practices in mind.

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