Inactivity in the workplace is bad for your health. It is much as bad as smoking. The use of technology has changed the way we work and play. Emailing, calling, chatting, and surfing are some of the many reasons people used to moving around the workplace no longer exist, all replaced by a simple click of a mouse.
Sedentary behaviour causes people to experience fatigue and restlessness. Whilst athletes and heavy duty workers experience injuries from being active, office workers and call centre agents are also at risk for injury and a variety of adverse health effects.
Sitting jobs require less muscular effort, but it does not mean you are at less risk of the injuries associated with more physically demanding tasks. Injuries caused by sitting for long periods can become a serious occupational health and safety problem.
During waking hours, 65% of an average person’s day is spent sedentary. In adults, it is 9-10 hours of inactivity. High work sitters spend more than 7 and a half hours sitting at work. Those who work in telecommunications spend more than 12 hours of sitting in a day. Even in active sectors such as education and retail, employees spend more than 6 and 2 hours respectively sitting at work, not including the number of hours spent sitting outside work.
Some people with sedentary work tend to be more sedentary at home. Unfortunately, these people do not tend to compensate by increasing activity in their leisure time.
Inactivity Can Lead to Chronic Injuries
Musculoskeletal injuries are often seen as a result of overuse, but they can also be caused by prolonged inactivity.
Research has shown that chronic inactivity causes marked degeneration of virtually every measure of physical fitness, such as obvious problems like degeneration of reflexes, muscle weakness, and vulnerability to chronic pain.
Prolonged sitting can cause back pain, neck pain, headaches, and shoulder and arm pain. Sitting for hours cause accumulation of compressive load through the spine and cause low back pain, while postural stresses can cause neck and shoulder tension.
Moving is the Solution
It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. It does not have to be strenuous, or done in one session. You may do three 10-minute sessions of brisk walking, for example.
You do not have to change your job to get you out of sedentary life. You just have to reduce the amount of time you spend just sitting. Alternate standing, sitting, and other positions will help. If you have the opportunity to stand up and get off the chair, move around as often as you can.
How Physiotherapy Helps
Visit a physiotherapist if you need help in fitting activity guidelines into your lifestyle or if you have concerns about your injuries. Getting a few physiotherapy sessions will help address your pain and injuries through exercises.
A physiotherapist will help you to work out a program that you can do on a daily basis, without pain and with ease. Programmes usually focus on graded core stability, strength and endurance. Your physiotherapist may also use hands-on treatments, massage, dry needling and other soft tissue techniques, and postural correction.
If you’re having pain from being sedentary, consider getting in touch with a Perth physiotherapist. Call us at 9444 8729 today!