According to a recent study, the average office worker sits for 5hr 40min of their workday and 6-8 hours of their whole day. As the world slowly adopts desks that allow more standing throughout the day, there will be a rise in new injuries that didn’t classically affect this group of people in the past.
In other professions, like nursing, the physical demands of the job are different. They may be less at risk for neck pain and headaches and more at risk for developing blood clots due to the long hours standing, often in one place. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, spending too much time standing overtime can lead to a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency.
These people are at a much higher risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) which if allowed to move to the lungs can lead to life-threatening conditions.
I know what you’re thinking…first you tell me to stand up, now you’re telling me don’t stand still? What am I supposed to get one of those treadmill desks and run while I work?
No, I am 100% NOT saying that! Please do not run while you work, there are so many reasons for this…All I am saying is that there are risks to standing all day too. In the ergonomics world we have a saying…the best position to work in is the next position. Don’t sit or stand all day. Change positions…take short frequent breaks throughout your day. It has been studied that the most efficient people in an office take 17 minute breaks every 52 minutes.
For those working remotely from their homes, social interactions and breaks from work tend to be limited. First figure out if you’re showing the signs that you need a break. If so then invest in a fun alternative like a balance board.
Many companies have taken the idea of a balance board, classically a medical product, and redesigned it to help people stay active and healthy at their desk. By setting you slightly off balance these boards work to maintain and improve leg circulation due to all the little movements you’ll have to make to stay stable on it. No matter which of the many boards you choose, make sure you choose something appropriate to your level. Here is a great article to help you understand the differences in the types of boards out there.
To keep it simple, don’t sit or stand all day. When sitting for more than an hour, get up and take a break. When standing, try a balance board to keep active at your desk…they may even help you improve your memory!