Monday, April 29, 2013

A Stand For Workplace Health

It's not news that we as a country are getting less healthy. Obesity is on the rise, owing in part to a more sedentary lifestyle. Quite simply, we're not active enough and it's affecting our health. Exercise and proper diet can help, of course, but a new approach to office work is attacking the problem by cutting down on an unhealthy activity that has become essential to many jobs- sitting.

Sitting for long stretches slows metabolism and leaves people at risk for heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening ailments. Unfortunately, that's just what many of us have to do everyday at our jobs. While proper posture and an ergonomically friendly desk will cut down on eyestrain, back pain and wrist injuries, it doesn't reduce the risk of long-term problems. As a result of these studies, one of the latest office trends is installing workstations that reduce or eliminate sitting entirely.

Ergonomics are still in play, of course. The keyboard should remain at elbow level, the top of the monitor should be just below your eyes and at an angle, and try not to slouch. This buying guide will help sort out different options for standing desks. In particular, how to tackle the obvious fatigue problem. Standing all day will wear you out, so having a stool or a surface to do some sitting work is important.

Even if you're not ready to make the jump to a standing workstation, there are routines you can get into that promote good health. Stand up and walk around every twenty minutes. Add more walking by parking farther away and taking stairs instead of the elevator. The site Compliance & Safety has a graphic with several exercises you can do while at work. Doing these is not only a break from sitting, they also stretch out various muscles.

Now that the weather's getting warmer, another healthy tip is to bike or walk to work if you live close enough to your job.


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