Even if you exercise regularly, long periods of sitting increases the risk of health issues in both the short and long term, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and early death.
The good news is that the early findings from a BeUpstanding National Implementation Program show many workplaces are now taking a more holistic approach and are improving the design of work, work systems and the physical work environment, with workers encouraged to sit less and move more by:
- Design of the work – job rotation, regular breaks, standing meetings.
- Design of the physical work environment – procuring sit-stand workstations and standing height desks in meeting and lunchrooms. Having a central point for printers and rubbish bins.
- Design of work systems – flexible work hours/policy, active breaks and embedding these changes into their health and safety management system.
The findings show that initially, many workplaces implemented lower order, less effective controls when managing sedentary work, such as reminders on their devices to change posture. However, as their programs progressed, many workplaces gained further management commitment and moved to higher order controls such as redesign of their work tasks and physical work environment.
Results for workers and workplaces include:
- reduced sitting times and an increase in movement at work
- improvements in physical health, mental health and energy scores
- decrease in musculoskeletal pain score
- fewer sick days
- increase in the positive perceptions of control and support over their workday
- fewer or less severe symptoms that indicate stress
- increased productivity
- improved workplace culture.
To learn more see Sit Stand Program at: https://eapassist.com.au/digital/