Putting a treadmill under your desk may not be the best way to incorporate exercise into your work day.
However, you can burn a few calories by switching between sitting and standing.
October is National Safe Work Month and West Moreton Health’s physiotherapy team is keen to encourage people to avoid the long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
West Moreton Health Director of Physiotherapy Justin Jacob said while a treadmill under the desk was not practical, implementing small changes throughout the day could have a big effect.
“The long-term effects of sitting for long hours are almost like smoking, as it can cause plenty of conditions. People who work from home, or are in an office for long periods, should take one minute at various times throughout the day to take a break from sitting, even if it means just standing. Your body needs to reset.”
Mr Jacob said sitting down for long periods could lead to physical issues, such as poor posture and musculoskeletal disorders, and affect mental wellbeing.
Simply getting up from your office chair and walking to the printer or kitchen was of benefit. Doing it often had a cumulative effect.
“When we are tired, we tend to slouch more into the chair, which is not good for posture,” Mr Jacob said. “When you stand, you automatically change posture.
“Due to body shapes, women tend to get a sore neck while men get thoracic (back) pain. It is not permanent. When you go to sleep, you feel better, only for it to return the next day. It is repeated trauma.
“By moving, we can help avoid that pain.”
Justin Jacob’s top 5 tips to work safely
- Consider a sit-to-stand desk to encourage change throughout the work day.
- Remember to move by setting a calendar reminder.
- Stand while you are on the phone or are in a Teams meeting.
- Take one-minute breaks regularly to stretch and adjust your posture.
- Choose the right office chair.