Human beings are designed to be active.
Our bodies and minds work better when we’re up and about. And some of us are truly mobile workers, with jobs that keep us on our feet and on the move. But the reality for many is that the working day involves sitting at a desk. And being desk-bound is not as harmless as it sounds.
It’s only a matter of time
Prolonged sitting has been proven to cause all sorts of problems. It puts significant pressure on the spine and causes blood to pool in the legs. Twenty minutes is all it takes before bad posture and slouching deforms your ligaments. People also tend to blink less when sitting, staring at a screen, leading to dry, tired eyes. As employees clock up years sitting in their office chairs, the catalogue of physical issues grows. Aches and pains, herniated discs and nerve problems are common, not to mention the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Businesses need to take action to address this sooner rather than later. Or who knows if we’ll see a slew of lawsuits in a few years’ time, as employees sue businesses who failed to protect their health at work?
Workplaces are physically behind the times
Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen a technological revolution. Processing power has increased, and motherboards have been miniaturised. Hulking, noisy towers have been transformed into sleek all-in-ones. Chunky, expensive laptops morphed into the standard issue device, slimline and power-packed. Then mobile phones and tablets joined the party. But how much has the traditional working set-up of an office desk and chair changed?
Short answer, it hasn’t. Not for the majority of businesses. And that’s leading to an epidemic of sitting. Why not see how your day measures up with this ‘sitting time’ calculator?
Where’s your head at?
Ever ended your working day with an aching neck and tense shoulders? Most of us have. And that’s because your monitor isn’t in a body-friendly position. ‘Neutral posture’ is the position your head and neck should be in – with your head sitting on top of your spine. However, fixed screens are often too low, forcing people to look down. This means they end up working with their chin thrust forward. As the head tilts, a force on the spine increases. The average head weighs 10-11lbs. If your head is tilted just 60 degrees, that’s equivalent to 60lbs. No wonder then that so many workers suffer from neck and back problems. Even if the screen is fixed at the right height, sitting while you look at it is still bad for you.
Invest in the right places
Companies are busy investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in software solutions and mobile working technologies to make their workers more productive. But the time has come to invest in some hardware – office furniture that’s bang up to date and as clever as the software that runs our daily lives. Think of it as bringing mobility to desk-bound masses. And contrary to what your teacher told you, fidgeting is good.
The benefits are felt by all
Businesses need to help their desk-based workers stand up and move more, and sit less. It’s an investment worth making. Standing more can increase energy and productivity levels, lower stress and improve people’s mood. It’ll make the workforce fitter as standing can boost metabolism, tone muscles and even reduce common aches and pains. This should mean fewer days lost due to employees being absent due to back pain.
Up in arms!
The simple, effective way to get workers standing is to ditch the fixed screen and use monitor arms instead. The LX Desk Monitor Arm by Ergotron is the perfect example. With the screen safely fixed to the fully adjustable arm, workers are free to position their screen correctly and achieve a neutral posture. This is a sure-fire way to minimise neck pain and eye strain. Better still, when they stand to work, they simply move the monitor to suit.
Stand… and deliver
It is generally recommended that people alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes for optimum health. In fact, you burn 30% more calories standing, rather than sitting, so it has to be beneficial in a society grappling with issues of weight and obesity.
But the benefits go so much further than health. Whilst health is a significant primary benefit, the effects on productivity and delivery are hard to ignore. In fact, studies show employees who are provided with well-designed ergonomic furniture and are trained to use it, see an average 18% increase in productivity.
Get creative with it
Employees will also experience enhanced creativity deriving from the ability to personalize the way they work. Their space becomes their own, customised to their unique preferences and, therefore, feels more ‘like home’. The thinking is, that the more relaxed and at ease a person is, the fewer barriers there are to creativity.
By choosing to either sit or stand and to use one or more monitors, the employee can create their own, customised work environment. With highly adjustable and flexible solutions, as well as easy information sharing via agile monitor arms, employees are better able to work together, thereby improving their collaboration. It all adds up to more satisfied, happy and healthy employees and a healthier bottom line for the business.
Ergotron stands apart
Ergotron offers a diverse range of monitor arm models. Simple to install, these allow choices between multiple monitor solutions and other options that include articulated crossbar actions and tilt-shift capabilities to deliver easier, optimal viewing. No matter the employee’s role, there’s an arm for the job.
Ergotron’s design experts are redefining workspaces for the future. The brand is leading the way in flexible sit-stand working, and their cutting-edge range of products are already having a marked impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of workforces everywhere.