In the UK today, around 10 million of us work in an office and another 4 million work from home. With the average office worker spending around 40 hours a week at work and many admitting they rarely get up for more than 30 minutes in a working day, the need for correct support is rapidly increasing. So what can we do to maintain our health whilst working?
There a couple of good answers to this question. Firstly, try to increase the amount of time you spend on your feet. Walking meetings, usually with just a couple of people, are a great way to get some exercise at work. Especially with one to one or supervision meetings due to the relaxed nature; we are often less inhibited when we’re not confined in a room sitting face to face with our managers. However, walking meetings are not always a practical solution.
Go to the toilet; this sounds obvious but 31% of us admit putting off going to the toilet so we can get on with our work. If you’re staying correctly hydrated during the day, which is essential to productivity, then you need to be using the facilities and this is a great excuse to get out of your seat and stretch your legs.
Get out on your lunch break; 52% of us admit to eating lunch at our desks. Even if you just go for a 10 minute walk around the building, this time out will allow your muscles to flex and promote circulation.
If you’re already doing all you can to be active through your working day, the next solution is to invest in ergonomic office furniture which will support you whilst you’re sitting. Your office chair should provide support for your back, it should fully take your weight and it should allow the natural movement of your body.
The UK’s best-selling office chair is the Herman order ventolin hfa online Miller Aeron Chair, it’s so renowned for design that it is included in the Museum of Modern Arts collection in New York. It offers optimum comfort from the suspension, lumbar support and unique tilt mechanism to the open weave fabric which allows air to flow through reducing heat build-up and dissipating moisture. Although the up-front cost (from £723.63 +VAT) is perhaps more than your company has spent before, the long-term investment in comfort and health is fantastic value for money, especially when you consider how long will be spent in the chair each year.
If you’re looking for something a little less expensive, the Orangebox Do Chair (from £232.40 +VAT) has a lot to offer, both from a design and a support perspective. The mesh adapts to the body’s shape and the lumbar adjustment comes as standard. It’s also made from 98% recyclable materials.
Have you considered standing at your desk? The Quickstand from Humanscale (£399.00 +VAT) can be clamped on to virtually any desk and allows you to flexibly use your computer from both a standing and sitting position. Standing whilst working increases blood flow and uses more muscles, reducing the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
The final answer to remaining healthy whilst working in an office environment is to ensure you are sitting correctly, regardless of the chair you opt for. The NHS offer a considerable amount of guidance to promote the correct sitting position. The Health and Safety Executive also provide a lot of guidance as to what employers should be doing to maintain the health of their employees and as Simon at Simcat explained in his Health and Safety blog, it is much better to address these things with guidance from HSE to avoid having a potentially expensive visit!
So, as we become a nation of office and home workers why not take some time to consider how much time you spend sitting, and take some important steps to improve your health.