Healthy Workplace Habits for Prolonged Sitting at Work

POSTED: September 13, 2021

If you’re among the 86 percent of people whose job requires sitting for long durations (about eight hours per workday), you could become vulnerable to a host of health issues, pain, and loss of productivity. Do you have frequent back pain? Or tension in the neck and shoulders? You’re not alone; 74 percent of individuals experience pain at their desks at least a few times per week. The likely culprit is bad posture, which oftentimes is instigated by a nonsupportive, poorly designed office chair.

The good news is, by practicing the following healthy habits at work, you can counteract a lot of the negative effects of sitting at work all day.

  1. Sit properly. OSHA recommends sitting at least 20 inches away from your computer monitor. In general, for maximum efficiency, feet should comfortably rest on the floor and legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Get moving. It’s suggested that sedentary workers should engage in physical activity at least every half-hour for two minutes. If you’re having difficulty concentrating while sitting, take a quick walk: Use the restroom, climb a flight of stairs, visit a co-worker, get a drink of water. Occasional walks throughout a workday can help increase blood flow to the brain and re-energize the body, boosting concentration when you return to your desk.
  3. “Deskercise.” You can easily sneak in some exercise at your desk throughout the workday. Here are a few simple and effective office chair exercises and stretches:
    1. Ab holds. A stronger core can help reduce back pain. Simply contract your abdominal muscles, tightening them as much as possible. Hold for five seconds and release. Repeat at least six times.
    2. Leg raises. While seated, extend one or both legs in front of you for five seconds. Lower your legs, but don’t touch the floor. Repeat 10 times.
    3. Spinal twist. Sit with your knees facing your computer screen, place your left hand on your right armrest, and twist to the right while placing your right hand on the back of your chair. Use the armrest and back of the chair as leverage for your twist. Look behind you, and hold for at least five slow inhales and exhales. Repeat on the other side.
    4. Neck stretch. As mentioned above, neck pain frequently is associated with sitting for extended periods. To help relieve discomfort, sit up straight and keep the shoulders down. Place the left hand on the top of the head and gently tilt your head toward the left, while looking straight ahead. Hold this position for a few seconds. Repeat on the right.
  4. Invest in an ergonomic chair. Don’t underestimate the importance of an ergonomic chair that conforms to your body. With the proper chair support, you can focus more on work because discomfort will be reduced. Some key features to look for include: adjustable seat height and armrests, comfortable padding for the seat and back, and adequate support for the spine.

Why Concept Seating

As a leader in workplace ergonomics, Concept Seating has a number of options designed to fit the needs of workers who require durable and supportive chairs. To learn more about how an ergonomic chair can help improve your overall comfort and health at work, contact us today.