by The Welthi Bureau 1st August, 2019
Your body is affected by the arrangement of your work area and by the tasks you perform on a daily basis. The layout of your workstation, the tools you use, etc., limit your body positions, or determine these positions according to the nature of your job. The lack of flexibility in choosing body positions, contributes to various health problems.
Consider a job that entails standing for long hours. Standing, by itself, is a natural human position that does not pose any health hazard. However, if your job necessitates standing for prolonged periods of time, this can cause sore feet, swelling of legs, varicose veins, general muscle fatigue, lower back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and other health problems. Sales people, machine operators, assembly-line workers, etc., often suffer the effects of prolonged standing.
It is important to remember that keeping the body in an upright position entails considerable muscular effort. Standing reduces the blood supply to the loaded muscles, and this insufficient blood flow creates fatigue that leads to pain in the muscles of the legs, back and neck – all of which work to enable you to maintain an upright position.
People whose work involves standing for long hours suffer other problems as well, as standing, without the relief of walking, causes blood to pool in the legs and feet. This prolonged standing results in inflammation of the veins, which in time may progress to chronic and painful varicose veins. Excessive standing also causes the joints in the spine, hips, knees and feet to become temporarily immobilized or locked, and this can later lead to rheumatic diseases due to degenerative damage to the tendons and ligaments.
Sitting is a natural position that we assume in the car, at work or when we relax. Did you know, however, that every hour spent sitting, shortens a person’s life by 22 minutes? The World Health Organisation has named physical inactivity the fourth biggest killer in the world today. You can be working while you’re sitting, but it’s still sitting, and it kills! By sitting for most of the day, working at your desk, you increase your risk for a variety of health problems. Researchers have even found a connection between inactive lifestyles and an increased chance of future disability. By reducing your sitting time to three hours a day or less, you can increase life expectancy by two years! Alternating between sitting and standing, while at work, and walking in between, is advisable.
The mere act of sitting itself is not the culprit, but the biological effects of indulging in this activity for prolonged periods of time, which has been shown to have a significant effect on your metabolism; negatively influencing your triglyceride levels, blood sugar, resting blood pressure, etc., all of which contribute to cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.
People who exercise regularly are not exempt from the ill effects of sitting for prolonged hours. Exercising for an hour in the morning and then sitting for eight hours or more during the day, nullifies the effects of the exercise. The fact is, anyone who spends prolonged periods of time sitting, regardless of their overall activity level, is at risk for all the hazards of a sedentary lifestyle. The good news is, you can find ways to incorporate movement throughout your day, so that you are sitting for shorter, intermittent bouts and not for prolonged periods.
If you are suffering the effects of work posture, don’t wait till you are in unbearable pain. Consult your Doctor well in time. Above all, don’t maintain the same posture for any length of time. Keep moving – it’s the key to good health.
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