Are we doomed to seated immobility at work?

An office job inevitably entails working at a desk in a sitting position for many hours every day. Is sitting really “the new smoking”? Is it possible to counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle among office staff? Discover the ways to break up inactivity at the office.

Agata Brama
“Sitting is the new smoking”

The evidence was already there back in 2009: a sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to health. One of the larger studies in this field, conducted in Australia (“The 45 and Up Study”), found that each additional hour of sitting time per day was associated with a 9% increase in all-cause mortality. In addition to an elevated mortality risk, prolonged sitting is associated with a greater likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes or certain cancers. Lack of exercise is also linked to sluggish metabolism, which leads to excess body weight – a problem already affecting 60% of adult Poles.

Ergonomic workstation

The impacts of sedentary work need to be looked at from a broader perspective than back pain. There’s no doubt that poor workstation positioning leads to pain in the cervical or lumbar spine. While an appropriate set-up of the monitor and desk space together with an ergonomic chair ease pressure off the spine, they don’t eliminate the underlying problem – lack of movement – and its adverse effects on other parts of the body.

Office-based yoga

An ergonomic workstation is one that promotes movement over passive sitting. Just think: which type of chair makes employees move more at work: an ‘ergonomic’ chair that supports the body at every angle or a wooden stool so uncomfortable that it requires frequent changes of body position?