If you work in an office, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard the new mantra of the fitness world:
“Sitting is the new smoking“.
If you’re really lucky then you might be able to peak up from your desk and spy a late-20s early-30s guy with a man-bun and questionable facial hair rising high above his co-workers with his shiny new standing-desk in open defiance of leading a sedentary lifestyle. I am of course, unfortunately, describing myself.
Looking at this trend from the point of view of improving workplace health and safety, however, might help you look at Mr. Man-Bun from a wholly new perspective.
A number of studies have been churned out over the past few years with a sharp focus on how sitting for the vast majority of your day is having a serious long term effect on your health. An Australian study for the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2011 found that every hour of seated television-watching cuts about 22 minutes from your life span. They went so far to conclude that:
“TV viewing time may be associated with a loss of life that is comparable to other major chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.”
Mr. Man-Bun doesn’t seem so silly now does he?
A 2012 study by IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute reported that the average Australian is spending 9 hours a day sitting and this sedentary lifestyle is having a serious effect on your health.
The obvious symptoms; sore back and neck; are just the tip of the iceberg. You burn up to 20% more fat when standing as compared to sitting so any number of weight-associated illnesses can also be thrown into the mix, not to mention ongoing injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of bad posture.
So, is it time to toss your old desk?
Not so fast. Standing all day can have its complications too; which is why many safety-conscious businesses’ are opting for sit-stand desks so employees can switch between the two.
So for those businesses with an eye on building a good safety culture in their business maybe it’s time to make the switch. Haven’t you heard? Sitting is the new smoking.
By Christopher Notley-Smith at donesafe.com
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