Today, an expert statement was released on the status and impact of prolonged sitting in the office, commissioned by Public Health England and Active Working C.I.C (who launched the Get Britain Standing campaign in 2014). Presented today at Get Britain Standing’s Active Working Summit, the expert statement recommends further breaking up sedentary activity in the workplace, by increasing intermittent periods of standing and light activity (i.e. light walking) from two to four hours daily. Additionally, it offers “Core Recommendations” for predominantly desk-based workers.
The statement’s collaboration with researchers and supporting studies, written from a group of international experts from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia, also features, we are proud to say, a number of studies in which Ergotron products were used to further understanding of sedentary behavior and its antidotes.
- Initially progress towards accumulating at least two-hours per day of standing and light activity (light walking), eventually progressing to a total accumulation of four hours per day (pro-rated for part-time hours).
- Seated-based work should be regularly broken up with standing-based work and vice versa and thus sit-stand adjustable desk stations are highly recommended.
- Similar to the risks of prolonged static seated positions, so too should prolonged static standing postures be avoided; movement does need to be checked and corrected on a regular basis especially in the presence of any musculoskeletal sensations. Occupational standing and walking have however not shown to be causally linked to low back and neck pain and can provide relief.
- Those individuals new to adopting more standing-based work could expect some musculoskeletal sensations and some fatigue as part of the positive adaptive process. If such sensations cannot be relieved either by an altered posture or walking for a few minutes, then the worker should rest, including sitting, with a posture that relieves the sensations. If discomfort does persist, then seeking appropriate medical advice is recommended.
- Along with other health promotion goals (improved nutrition, reducing alcohol, smoking and stress), companies should also promote to their staff that prolonged sitting, aggregated from work and leisure time, may significantly increase one’s risk of cardio-metabolic diseases and premature mortality.
This is good news for office workers previously tasked with long hours sitting at the computer. In the 2013 JustStand® Index, 67% of the workers surveyed reported they hated sitting, corresponding to a 2010 poll where two thirds (67%) reported they wished their employer offered workstations or desks that could be adjusted so that they could work either seated or standing.
With affordable sit-stand workstations available right now, the release of this expert statement is timely for global companies looking to create an environment that supports health and well-being for their staff, The growing list of findings related to reducing sedentary behavior in office workers is now a proof point for human resources, risk management, and health & safety teams concerned with getting workers moving more often without reducing productivity. Combining the benefits of ergonomic equipment in adjustable office furniture gives businesses a viable solution for activating their workforce in the place where they spend the most time—at their workstation.
To see some of the Active Working Summit speakers talk about their research you can visit Juststand.org/summit. In 2011, we recognized the need to engage key influencers involved in research and thus launched the first JustStand® Wellness Summit, formally introducing the notion that affordable sit-stand solutions exist to change the sedentary behavior that researchers were observing. We couldn’t be more pleased that similar campaigns like Get Britain Standing’s Active Working summit are helping spread the message and hoping to influence a healthier change in how a person lives and works. By uniting communities – both here in the US and abroad – we can spread awareness and impact global change for a new way of working, providing easily adaptable solutions and supports to help reduce sedentary behaviors.