work, stand up, sitting, back pain

Boosting productivity at work may be simple: Stand up

Unfortunately in today’s modern world, most of us spend most of our days slumped over a computer desk at work and our evenings bent over looking at our devices. There is very little time when we are not in this fatal position.

Physiotherapists warn us by saying that sedentary lifestyle and bad posture in general can lead to serious problems in later life. If people do not make changes soon it could lead to the development of a hunchback and a spine that cannot be straightened.

Sedentary lifestyle

Sitting too much is seriously bad for your health. People who sit a lot have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and early death. Additionally, sitting all the time burns very few calories, and many studies have linked it to weight gain and obesity. Working in an office, for example, which is usually followed by relaxing in a chair or sofa at home, or possibly sitting at a bar or restaurant, means sitting for most of the hours in a day.

Previously, it was thought that twenty minutes of daily exercise provided a baseline for good health. And while exercise does hedge against the risks associated with inactivity, even individuals who exercise regularly are at higher risk of contracting serious disease if they are in the habit of sitting through most of the day.

How should I work?

Evidence has shown that working on a tablet or laptop is much worse than working at an organized work station with a desktop computer. It has become such as a problem that it has even been called “text neck”. If you are going to work for a long period then make sure you are set up correctly, with your feet on the floor and on a chair that supports your back. Avoid looking at your laptop on your bed or couch, as this is much worse for your back.

Enhance your productivity with a standing desk

Fortunately, standing desks, also called stand-up desks, are becoming increasingly popular these days. A standing desk is basically a desk that allows you to stand up comfortably while working. Many modern versions are adjustable, so that you can change the height of the desk and alternate between sitting and standing. These are referred to as height-adjustable desks, or sit-stand desks. Although research is still in early stages, it does appear that using a standing desk can have impressive benefits for health. It may also increase productivity. At the very least, using this type of desk can partly negate the harmful effects of sitting too much.

A common concern about standing desks is that they hinder daily tasks, such as typing. While standing each afternoon may take some getting used to, standing desks appear to have no significant impact on typical work tasks. Considering that standing improves mood and energy as well, using a standing desk is more likely to boost productivity rather than hinder it.

It is time to take a stand

Scientists say that exercising for thirty minutes a day a while being at rest for the other twenty three and-a-half simply is not enough. The first step toward leading a less sedentary life is to count the number of hours you sit each day. Once you start counting, you are more likely to change your behaviour. The next step is setting achievable goals and finding opportunities to incorporate greater physical activity – and less time sitting – into your daily life. 

For example, at work, put your feet on the floor, sit up tall, and put your arms by your sides. Pull your shoulders back, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and then reach your fingers towards the ground while tucking your chin in to lengthen your back. Keep your eyes forward as you feel your back stretch. Stand up or move for one to three minutes every half hour; and when watching television, stand or exercise during commercials.

Weight gain is ultimately caused by taking in more calories than you burn. While exercise is the most effective way to burn calories quickly, simply choosing to stand instead of sitting can also be beneficial. There is no doubt that spending more time on your feet is beneficial for heart health.

Physio Medicine has designed an on-site workstation assessment and training programme to enhance flexibility, endurance and mobility whilst at work. We also provide individual workstation assessment, group workstation assessment, posture advice presentations on current set-up and the required changes that need to be made to make the given workstation ergonomic. Book now for a professional 1 hour workstation assessment