Office worker with pain from sitting at desk all day

The Risks of a Sedentary Job

DF SafetyHealth and Safety Tips, Management and Leadership, Personal Safety Guide

As many of us return to the office, a topic of concern piqued my interest. How is our health impacted by working a sedentary job? As someone who tries to live an active lifestyle, I went searching for how our bodies are affected by working in a position that involves very little movement, and how we can implement small changes to benefit our overall physical and mental health.   

My current role is a first in which I’m primarily sitting at a desk. My previous employment consisted of being on my feet and moving nearly all day, so I’m sure it comes as no surprise why this topic got me interested in learning about the effects of a sedentary job. 

Lack of exercise impacts both our physical and mental health. You don’t need to be on a construction site to face health hazards, working in a role that involves either a lot or very little movement is equally dangerous.  

Impacts and Remedies

Exercising at office desk

As humans, we are not made to live sedentary lives. Below are just a few examples of negative impacts a lack of movement may cause, and some remedies on how to combat them in the workplace!  

Negative Impacts:

  • Heart disease 
  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Cancer 
  • Poor blood circulation 
  • Shortened/tight hip flexors which lead to low back pain 
  • Musculoskeletal disorders 

Controls/Remedies:

  • Take frequent breaks – walk around the office and do some light stretching often 
  • Drink plentiful amounts of water 
  • Get moving – this includes your eyes. Follow the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds, and look 20 feet away). This is not only important for eye health but if you can’t see you’re more likely to have bad posture while trying to read 
  • Set up your work area – ensure your chair has lumbar support and your work surface allows for a neutral posture 

I was surprised to learn how sedentary jobs can negatively impact our health. I hope you found this blog helpful and can put into practice some of the remedies listed above!   

I know I sure am! 

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week! 

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