At Healthy Home Office, we’ve been discussing an article about ‘chair disease’ which came to our attention in 2012. This article, from the Brisbane Times (www.brisbanetimes.com.au) identifies our modern, sedentary working practices as so detrimental to our health that even carefully-chosen ergonomic furniture struggles to mitigate the damage.
Karin Griffiths, a physiotherapist at the University of Sydney, observes that ‘nearly everything can be done at the desk now – communication, library research, file retrieval, even meetings.’
It’s a sobering thought, and it means that both office workers and managers alike must focus more than ever on keeping the right balance, and getting movement into the working day. The aim is to radically change the way the workplace operates: the article goes on to recommend ‘discouraging internal emails on the same floor, holding meetings while standing or walking, and work systems that require frequent standing breaks, such as those with telephones on a standing bench.’
The right chair is an integral part of the solution, too, for those times when standing or walking simply isn’t an option. Our feet need to be in contact with the floor or a footrest and our arms should be parallel to the work surface, our chair then needs to have enough adjustments so that it can be personalised for us, after which we believe that our chairs need to encourage us to move “We are not designed to sit still, our bodies are designed for movement and variation” Movement is natural, necessary, nourishing and comfortable. With our way of life having changed so dramatically, movement while sitting has become crucial to staying healthy and working efficiently. When we sit at work, concentrating on a task, we may move our hands, arms and head but we often simply “forget” about our legs. They remain “parked” and static. This affects the whole body. Ever noticed how tired you get after sitting for long periods? At Healthy Home Office we believe in providing products which provide a solution and create a healthier working environment.
What is your business doing to combat ‘chair disease’? Tell us the innovations which have worked for you, and we’ll include them in a future blog.