When we think about workplace safety, images of men in hard hats teetering on unstable-looking scaffolding spring to mind. Many of us see them on the way to the office and feel affirmed that working on the edge (literally), and encountering such dangerin the workplace just isn’t for us.
But are office jobs any less perilous? We are now seeing less obvious - albeit equally real - dangers starting to surface in the office.
Sit down and think about it. A typical day: You wake up, cling to the fading memory of last night’s sleep before your alarm rips you into full consciousness and you start your workday.
You sit down to drive to work, or catch the train. You sit down at your desk for the next eight or so hours with only a break to run and grab a bite from the café in your building. The work day’s over and you pull up at home, exhausted and looking forward to sitting down with your family and having a glass of wine.
In a typical day, you’ve been sitting down for most of it. While that doesn’t sound too bad, a lot happens to your body when it is inactive for too long. Now take a seat and hear this. Sitting down all day can result in the following: increased risks of obesity, heart disease, carpel tunnel syndrome, lower back pains and even colon cancer.
Maybe working on the top storey of a skyscraper isn't so dangerous after all?
Of course, these risks can be dramatically reduced with a bit of caution and working some activity into your workplace ought to offset the ‘sitting-down syndrome’.
Studies show that workplace stretching improve flexibility and even and self-worth. Research also indicates that periodic workplace stretching may reduce pain by up to 72 percent. Even a small amount of exercise in the workday can relieve stress, improve your mood and give you a boost of energy.
Easy exercises to try:
- Stretching at your desk
- Getting away and walking outside during your lunch break
- Taking the stairs