Workplace Wellness Strategies

Dangers of Sitting All Day: Improving Office Ergonomics

Ergonomic (2)

Did you know that sitting all day can be as bad for employees’ health as smoking cigarettes? Why you may need to improve office ergonomics and reduce risks…

We hear it everyday from our client’s employees…”I sit ALL DAY…I’m in pain from being in the same position all day…I’m too tired to exercise at the end of the day, so I go home and sit some more on the couch!” Most employees will benefit from improved office ergonomics and a more customized work space. Combining this with some motivation and education on additional ways to avoid the pitfalls of sitting all day will reap even greater benefits. This is why, as a business owner, you may need to consider a more comprehensive approach to your workplace ergonomics and safety.

Why is sitting so harmful? Here’s a few reasons to think about behavior change initiative for your employees:

  • Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54% more likely to die of heart attacks.
  • Researchers at the American Cancer Society found that even if you exercise nearly every day, those health benefits can be undone if you spend the rest of your time on your keister.
  • Bad for the Waistline: Scientists at the University of Missouri have found that the act of sitting seems to shut off the circulation of a fat-absorbing enzyme called lipase.

The list goes on. Your employees NEED to get up, move more and sit less.

The American Medical Association has adopted a new policy on sitting in the workplace thanks to the mounting new evidence that it is harmful to your health. The physicians group is now urging employers to find alternatives to sitting like standing workstations or isometric balls. Investing in treadmill or standing desks for all or most employee base is likely not an immediate feasibility for you. So what can you do right now to start striving towards the AMA’s new recommendation?

Education and simple well-being programming can inspire healthy change for the harmful effects of sitting all day.

Expensive changes like standing desks and treadmill desks don’t have to be your only solution. Although they are great, employees need a variety of options to incorporate more standing and movement into their day. They may also need personalized recommendations. This is where office ergonomics and one-on-one coaching sessions can be valuable.

One thing we’ve seen work very well with our clients is our ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ Stretch & Stress Breaks. In as little as ten to fifteen minutes, we are able to strongly emphasize the need for employees to make a conscious effort to stand up throughout the day. We teach very practical techniques, stretches and other activities that help undo the damage of sitting, increase energy and reduce pain. These quick, but fun sessions are done at the workplace. We get great feedback from people on this program, mainly because they leave with things they will remember to do and that are easy to apply. We can also combine these group sessions with one-on-one ergonomic assessments, which can us target more specific barriers individually.

You may also consider a ‘Get Fit While You Sit’ campaign, which can include marketing and educational messaging along with an initiative that will prompt employees on their computers to stop, stand up and stretch for a minute or two. SB Wellness Group has done just that with a number of our clients and they have seen great success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your group.

Katie Uworksite wellness, corporate wellness specialists, wellness consultant, workplace ergonomics, employee safetyter Normand is Vice President of SB Wellness Group. SB Wellness has been helping businesses develop customized solutions  for wellness programs with proven success for more than 20 years. From planning and implementation to screening and data collection, we orchestrate each stage of the wellness development process from start to finish. Find out more at

Sign up for our Workplace Well-being Insider to find out about special this month on our Ergonomic Programs.



Leave a Reply