The Dangers of Sitting (at work)

Do your employees sit at a desk all day? If the answer is yes, you should know that their health may be negatively impacted – especially if they’re sitting for 6 or more hours a day. In fact, their risk of heart disease increases by 64%, along with the risk of contracting certain types of cancer. Sitting all day could be shaving years off of employee’s live and.
After 1 year of sitting for 6+ hours a day, many employees can experience weight gain and high cholesterol. Sitting all day increases their risk for obesity and puts them at risk for back pain, poor posture, leg cramps and tense muscles. For an estimated timeline of how the effects of sitting impact your body over a twenty-year period, check out the blog post by Thorin Klosowski.

Even scarier is that too much sitting can lead to the development of Kyphosis, a curvature in the upper spine, which can then lead to neck, shoulder, back and jaw pain, tension headaches and knee problems. What’s more, when a person’s spine is not properly aligned, their internal organs have less room to do their job effectively.

Convinced that you need to be careful about the way your employees are sitting, and for how long? Check out our next blog post to see what employees can do to counteract the effects of a sedentary job.

5 Initiatives that Support a Healthy Workplace Culture

Your corporate culture says a lot about your company. It shows the world who you are as an organization. It is present in employee interactions, customer and shareholder experiences, and is likely perceived by the community you work within. Creating a healthy corporate culture is something you can and should actively shape, so why not create something remarkable?

5 initiatives that will steer you in the right direction:

1.    Get your CEO on-board.
Ask your CEO to support all of your wellness initiatives by communicating with staff about the importance of a healthy workplace culture. When employees see that the CEO is behind something so beneficial, they’ll be more likely to take it seriously and will jump at the chance to get involved.

2.    Encourage employees to use the stairs.
If you’re lucky enough to have multiple floors in your office, start a campaign asking employees to take the stairs. Those who have always taken the stairs will thank you. They will appreciate you encouraging others to take part in this free, beneficial activity, and they’ll love the company in the otherwise empty stairwell.

3.    Host an on-site Health Fair.
Health fairs come in all shapes and sizes and offer employees an opportunity to interact with a variety of health experts. Start small if this concept is new to your company. Schedule blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and let your employees sign-up at no charge. Staff will feel better getting personalized feedback about their state of health, along with tips and suggestions, and they’ll be less likely to be away from work to seek out the same check-ups.

4.    Offer healthy food at meetings.
Look for a healthy caterer, or ask your current vendor what healthy options they can provide. When you feed people nourishing food at work, amazingly they think more clearly, get more done, and make better decisions. They also see the effort you’re making and feel good about working for you.

5.    Identify the healthy policies you’ve already implemented and tell others about them!
If your office has policies in place that contribute to employee well-being, such as offering flex hours, or providing extended compassionate leave, make sure you communicate these programs as a part of your workplace wellness strategy. Putting your programs into the right context can help you achieve the maximum ROI.

Every action (or inaction) communicates something about your company. Take stock of all the things you do well as an organization that contribute to a healthy workplace culture. Take the time to communicate it proudly to staff, and ask employees for their partnership and input.

Creating a healthy workplace culture is worth every bit of time and every penny. It’s an incredible journey that will and you will yield tremendous rewards. Remember to come back to our blog share what you’ve been up to and how well it’s working for you!

Take A Stretch Break While You Work

Anyone who sits at a desk or stands at a work station for eight hours (or in many cases more) a day can tell you that long bouts of continuous paper pushing, typing, fielding phone calls, bending, lifting, etc. can cause pain, stiffness and even lethargy. In light of that harsh reality, we here at WorkingWell felt we should do our part to spare your aching backs, shoulders and necks from even one more day of discomfort. Hence today’s topic: The Importance of Taking Stretch Breaks at Work…

Both immobility and repetitive motion may hinder your productivity on the job, by causing:

  • Joint and muscle stiffness and/or pain
  • Headaches
  • Mental and physical fatigue
  • Stress
  • Injuries, particularly due to repetitive strain

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Taking time out for stretch breaks during your workday is a great way to recharge your battery, and decrease the negative impact being relatively immobile and/or performing repetitive movements may have your body. And as little as 5-10 minutes of gentle stretching packs a lot of punch; bringing nutrients to your muscles, relieving tension, increasing feelings of well-being and improving your flexibility.

So, whenever possible, step away from your desk or workstation, and stretch any of your muscles that may feel tight. Ideally you should make an effort to stop what you’re doing and stretch at regular intervals. If your work involves various duties or physical activity, taking one or two short breaks a day will do the trick. In contrast, if you sit or stand in the same position all day take more frequent (frequent) breaks.

Be sure to stretch all the parts of your body that feel tight, starting slowly (without bouncing), and then gradually deepening the stretch to your tolerance. FYI: When stretching any muscle deepen the movement only until you feel ‘a comfortable discomfort’, NOT pain.

Take it from us; taking frequent, short stretch breaks throughout the day will have you feeling more energized, limber and alert while your work. Stretching is an easy, convenient and inexpensive way to stay fit and healthy on the job.

Convinced you need to get your stretch on and need a little more guidance on what stretches will work for you? Then click here for a list of great stretches you can do on the job.