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8 tips to reduce the risks of sedentary work Jan 19th, 2014

Sitting Hams Graphic

Use these tips to help your sedentary workers avoid long-term health issues caused by insufficient movement throughout their working day:

  • Encourage workers to alternate between computer work and a variety of other tasks where possible.

  • Take regular breaks from typing and other repetitive activities, e.g. a pause break every half hour to stand up and stretch.

  • Commit to making life a little more difficult! Take advantage of situations throughout the day when standing and moving is possible, e.g. take the stairs rather than the lift, stand up when you are commuting on public transport. 

  • Incorporate methods to reduce sedentary work practices into your company policies and procedures, e.g. your working from home policy should promote regular standing breaks throughout the day.

  • If possible, change the working environment and task design to promote workers to stand and move around more often.

  • Train your managers and supervisors in the risks of sitting for prolonged periods of time and the importance of physical activity throughout the working day.

  • Encourage a working environment where there is open discussion about the best ways to promote less sitting and more movement.

  • Teach your workers to remind each other to stand and move throughout the day.

Exercising outside the workplace as a risk control for sedentary work?

While we all know that to maintain a healthy lifestyle, at least 3 sessions of exercise each week is recommended — long periods of sedentary work during the day can still have adverse effects on your health even if you exercise 5 days a week outside of work! So encourage your workers to exercise and participate in activities that involve movement on their days off (this could be done through a health promotion program), but do not assume that this means you don't need to implement control measures for your sedentary workers.


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