To get straight to the point: sitting for prolonged periods of time is bad for your health: sitting is the new smoking. On average we spend 12 hours a day in a seated position and we should not underestimate the physical consequences. Add 8 hours of sleep to those already existing 12 hours or sitting, and you spend a total of 20 hours a day in a seated or lying position. Lack of physical activity is in the top 4 of early death causes. It increases the chance of developing heart disease, cancer, lung disorders and it decreases the resilience of your bone and muscle structures.
Stay active while you work
All around us we notice more awareness for the consequences of sitting. Smart watches can help you reach your daily goal of 10.000 steps a day, and a lot of companies are stimulating their employees to live a healthy and active lifestyle. They might have invested in standing desks or they might promote participation in running contests, organize yoga classes and office bootcamps. As physiotherapists, we are very excited about these developments.
In this blog you can find 6 tips on how to optimize your workplace or your home office, how to deal with the negative consequences after a long day of work and how to recognize (and solve) starting injuries.
Tip 1: Use it or lose it!
The most important tip is keep moving! Change your posture every 40 minutes for instance by changing up your seating position or by standing to wake up your muscles and nervous system. There are several programs you can use to help you remember to change position after 40 minutes (try for instance ‘workrave’ for windows or ‘time out’ for Mac). You can also set an alarm on your smartwatch or phone.
Try to switch to a standing desk once in a while, walk to your colleague instead of emailing them, try walking while you’re on the phone and have a standing or walking meeting instead of sitting down. All these small changes will make a big difference for your health.
Tip 2: Working posture
We see that a lot of people still hang on to ‘knees and hips should be bent into a 90-degree angle. This theory has been proven to be obsolete. These are the most important things to look out for in workplace posture:
- The height of your seat should allow your feet on the ground and your hips a little bit higher than your knees
- The backrest should be quite loose, that way you have to engage your core muscles to sit up straight
- The upper 1/3rd part or your screen should be on eye height
Tip 3: For people using a laptop
Working a lot on a laptop? Make sure you always have an external mouse, keypad and laptop standard. The standard is used so the upper 1/3rd part of the screen can be on eye height so you don’t have to constantly look down. The external mouse and keypad decrease pressure on your wrists, elbows and shoulders to prevent injuries.
Tip 4: Office and home stretches
Try doing these stretches during the day to decrease stiffness and increase mobility in your neck, shoulders and wrists. A must-do for everybody who is working remote.
Tip 5: Exercise outside of work
Exercising is and always will be a major part of your health. Exercising regularly is even more important if you spend most of your day at work sitting down. Each kind of exercising is fine but preferably a combination of strengthening exercises and endurance training. For instance: running and yoga. Running benefits your endurance and yoga works on your strength, posture and flexibility.
Do you experience stiffness of the back, neck and/or shoulders? Try these two exercises to loosen them up:
Tip 6: Ergonomically setting up your workspace at home
In the past couple of weeks people have chosen to isolate themselves because of the coronavirus and work from home. We support this! At home you should also pay attention to setting up your home office as ergonomically sound as possible. Work from a chair where both of your feet can touch the ground, preferably without shoes on. Use a laptop standard so you don’t have to look down to your screen. Use an external mouse and keypad and try to limit the distance between yourself and your keypad (e.g. no papers between you and your keypad). Make sure the screen of your laptop or computer is right in front of you so you’re not forced to rotate your neck when working.
What if I have complaints?
Do you have complaints when working at home? Do not hesitate to contact us. We offering the opportunity to speak to one of our therapists, safely from home through an e-consultation. Curious about the possibilities? Call us on 020 - 261 02 68 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lees verder - Tips voor het instellen van je (thuis)werkplek
Om gelijk maar met de deur in huis te vallen. Langdurig zitten is erg slecht! Zitten wordt inmiddels gezien als ‘het nieuwe roken’. In onderstaande blog geven we je 6 tips die te maken hebben met het instellen van je werkplek, hoe je de negatieve gevolgen van een lange werkdag kunt verminderen. Lees de 5 tips.