Ergomotion discusses the need for staff to use ergonomic desks in a modern-day workplace.

Increasingly popular at workplaces today, ergonomic desks were in the past seen as ‘unconventional’. However, better awareness of the immense benefits of height adjustable desks has resulted in their increased acceptance within workplaces.

For those who are yet to make the switch to ergonomic desks, Ergomotion explains the consequences of spending hours on end sitting in a chair.

1. Lower back pain

A sitting position is not necessarily a relaxed position. Eight out of ten people experience lower back pain, and a common cause is poor posture. Poor posture is a result of slumping, slouching and hunching over a computer screen. Combined with the design of the average office chair that does not support the natural curve of the spine, sitting for long periods of time can only end in pain. Unlike a standing posture that forces the body to support the spine, sedentary sitting can cause spine misalignment and muscle shortening.

2. That three o’clock slump

A condition that usually sets in sometime after lunch and a couple of hours before clock-off, the dreaded three o’clock slump also results in bad posture with all its undesirable consequences. Standing, on the other hand can keep energy levels constant, increase alertness and improve productivity at work.

3. Neck and shoulder pain

Sitting at a desk staring for hours at a computer screen can strain muscles, ligaments and tendons, or cause tissue damage, contributing to neck and shoulder pain. Mismatched chair and desk heights can also cause the employee to unconsciously raise their shoulders when typing on a keyboard, causing unnecessary strain to the neck muscles, as well as the muscles at the base of the skull.

4. Tight hip flexors and pelvis muscles

Extended periods of work in a seated position can cause the worker to unconsciously slip further down in the office chair causing unwanted tilting of the pelvis, straining the muscles and severely damaging their hip flexors. Sitting causes hip flexor muscles to shorten and tighten simply because they aren’t being used. The imbalance between these tight muscles, combined with weak gluteus muscles, can pull the hip joint out of alignment.

5. Lack of exercise

Weak back muscles and abdominals increase susceptibility to injury. Sitting all day at work, followed by some more sitting at home watching television only exacerbates the problem. A typical day consisting of eight hours of work, seven hours of sleeping, three hours of leisure time and one hour of commute reduces active time to a paltry five hours a day.

6. Extended sitting and health

While it may sound frightening, scientific research has found a correlation between many health issues and prolonged sitting. Breaking up sitting time during the workday can contribute to a lower risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

7. Being an ‘active couch potato’

Some research suggests that the damage done while sitting cannot be offset by those who exercise even daily. Someone who exercises regularly but still spends all the working hours of their day slogging it out in a desk chair is an active couch potato.

Considering an ergonomic desk?

If any of the above instances is familiar territory, it’s time to seriously stand up and consider how an ergonomic desk could impact your health for the better. Contact an Ergomotion expert to get the best height adjustable desk for your situation.