Sitting for too long at work is bad for your health, especially if you are sitting uninterrupted for more than 4 hrs. Besides having muscle stiffness and fatigue, there are many other health issues that can develop:

1) Muscle Fatigue

The muscle in your torso, neck and shoulder must be held in a fixed position while sitting. This causes the blood vessel to be squeezed and blood flow to reduce. Overall, muscle becomes fatigue and exhausted.

2) Reduced Blood Circulation

Limited movement reduces demand on the blood circulation. Hence, heart activities and blood circulation slow down. Insufficient blood flow from the leg to the heart cause blood to pool and back flow, resulting in varicose vein and numbness.

3) Reduce Fitness and Increase Injury

Prolong sitting over time reduce your fitness level, lung efficiency and increase digestive problems. Especially when you don’t exercise regularly outside office hours.

Sitting for too long increase the stress on the spine, especially lower back and neck, increasing the compression of the spinal disc leading to higher risk of slip disc.

In addition, because the muscle in the back and neck becomes tight from the pressure, a sudden movement can lead to injury.

4) Increase Risk of Diabetes

Sitting for prolong period is not an indicator of diabetes. But, people who sit for too long are 26% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, which is a condition that leads to diabetes.

What Can Be Done at Work?

1) Take Breaks

Encourage employees to take short breaks, after sitting down for about 40-50 mins. Give the heart, muscle and lungs some exercise to help counter the effect of sitting. Incorporate “activity breaks” such as simple exercise or go to the pantry for a drink.

2) Training

Incorporate education program to increase the awareness of health hazard and the importance of rest periods. Teach the employee how to adjust workstation to fit specific task and individual needs. Inculcate proper sitting position.

3) Ergonomics

Ensure proper chairs that are fully adjustable to accommodate the maximum range of employee’s needs. Review workstation with desk, computer and table that allow for frequent changes to suit the task.

People who exercise regularly but still spends a lot of time sitting at work might get more benefits if that exercise were spread across the day rather than a single bout.

So, get off the chair and start moving regularly when you are at work.

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