Many managers across the UK and elsewhere around the world have found themselves subject to furniture at work complaints. These days, personnel tend to spend long hours at their desks, and if their work stations are not up-to-scratch, they can suffer a range of ill-effects.
It is only by paying keen attention to furniture at work and making sure that staff members use the items correctly that firms can minimize the risk of these complications occurring.
Highlighting the dangers to workers’ health that arise from sitting at desks for extended stretches of time, a new study has suggested that office-related inertia can lead to a number of undesirable effects on the human body.
A team at the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre found that sitting for as little as four hours at a time is associated with adverse levels of waist circumference, body mass index, and HDL cholesterol levels, among other things. The researches published their findings in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The scientist also discovered that even physically active participants such as runners were not immune to the negative effects of sitting time.
Author of the study Amanda Stain, a postdoctoral research fellow at Pennington, noted that sitting has become a hot topic over recent times. She remarked: “It’s really started blowing up in the literature in the past couple of decades. But this is one of the first papers to come out to show that not only are people sitting a lot, but people who sit a lot have worse health profiles.
”She went on to concede that there is no definitive answer to this problem yet. She stated: “Some scientists will have people stand every 15 or 30 minutes and try to walk around the office, go pick up paper from the printer, or go visit a colleague to try to interrupt the sitting. Other offices are starting to use walking or standing desks. We don’t know whether those are effective or appealing to employers, but it definitely seems to be becoming popular. “MS Stain hopes that the research will prompt a change in thinking among business leaders.
The fact is, most office-based roles require workers to be at their desks for most of the day. Whether they are checking their emails, writing documents, filling in data, conducting research or engaging in other similar activities, personnel need to be within reach of their computers.
However, by encouraging their staff members to get up and move around from time to time, bosses may be able to minimize the ill-effects of sitting down. Meanwhile, managers may also benefit from conducting furniture at work reviews. Comfortable seating that promotes good posture is essential. Without these items, employees can quickly develop a range of musculoskeletal problems.
Adapting offices and working styles to benefit the health and wellbeing of personnel does require an investment in terms of time and resources. However, this could well prove to be a savvy investment. After all, a healthy workforce can be more productive, which is good news for companies’ bottom lines.
About the author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who contributes regularly to a wide range of office furniture sites, including Furniture At Work™.