Kingston Smith

Office workers beware! Is your desk putting your health at risk?

Every week we are bombarded with news on the latest health trends and scares. The most recent one reported by Good Morning Britain (GMB) stated that office workers are more at risk of heart attacks than other types of workers.

The NHS has conducted numerous studies linking excessive sitting with being overweight, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and a higher risk of heart attacks. With research showing that the average person spends over nine hours a day sitting, is it any wonder that it is contributing to poor health? But how exactly is it affecting our health, I hear you ask?

Sitting for long periods can slow down the body’s metabolism, decrease the good cholesterol, decrease sensitivity to insulin and potentially increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, some forms of cancer and even death!

So what is the answer? Get up and start moving more! Here are some ideas for you to think about and try to incorporate into your everyday working lives.

If your office is due a refurb, or if your health is starting to be affected by sitting for too long, you could request a standing or treadmill desk. These have become more popular in the last few years, with more options available and at various price levels to suit different budgets.

We all know we should be taking regular breaks from our computers to give our eyes a break from the screen. So use this time to get up, walk around, stretch and perhaps top up that glass of water on your desk.

Why use a traditional office chair? Give an exercise ball a try! This not only assists with building stronger core muscles but also promotes the correct posture when sitting at a desk.

In a world where you have to make meetings about meetings, try conducting some meetings standing up. As well as being better for you, this should focus the meeting on the actual agenda and reduce the time it takes.

These are just a few ideas for you and your workforce to become more physically active. An active workforce should lead to a more productive workforce and, with an improvement in the overall health of your employees, it could potentially reduce the amount of time lost and cost of sickness absence. So don’t just sit there, get up and start to make some changes.