Did you know, 70% of your Sedentary Behaviour takes place at the Office?
Over the past five years, an increased amount of evidence has been published on the links between sedentary living, including time at work, and the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. In 2015, this evidence encouraged The Public Health England and Active Working CIC to publish a Consensus Expert Statement providing guidance for Employers working in Office Environments.
Optimising Active Working can make your Company a highly desirable place, producing the following results:
- Improved Well-Being to Employees
- Productivity Benefits
- Increased Engagement
- Absenteeism Reductions
- Cost Saving
Costs of Prolonged Sitting to the Employer
Cost of Absenteeism
- An average firm of 250 employees loses £4,800 per week due to sickness absence.
- Employee absence incurs a £15-billion cost to the economy.
- 8.2 million workdays are lost due to Mental Health problems and 270,000 employees take time off work for stress related disorders.
- British businesses lose 4.9 million days to employee absenteeism through work related back pain however, this could fall by as much as 42% via a wellness program.
Cost of Presenteeism
- As a result of ill health, Employees will perform at lower productivity rates with The Centre for Mental Health calculating presenteeism for Mental Ill Health costs the UK Economy £15.1-billion.
Increased Productivity, Engagement and Well-Being
- Employees possessing sit/stand workstations unanimously claim to be more alert, task-driven and more positive. Adapting this way of working also encourages a change of posture and reduces the risk of back pain.
- Research shows a direct link between healthy employees and improved performance – in particular, with efficient meeting times.
Regulations are designed to help people, particularly those who use computers as a significant part of their job. Most of these can be found in the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (1992) and in the 1993 Implementation of European Directive (90/270/EEC).
- Provide Furniture that CAN BE Adjusted. No two people are the same, particularly in size or shape. Chairs, desks and monitors need to be adjustable so that the user can alter the height, angle of back rest etc. to reduce the risk of backache, neck ache and other aches or pains.
- Make Sure Computer users Take Regular Breaks. Working at a computer for long periods can make the user very tired and can contribute to headaches, back and neck ache, otherwise known as repetitive strain injury.
- Provide REGULAR Eyesight Tests. Computers can increase the risk of eyestrain, so users need to have regular sight tests to keep their eyes healthy.
- Provide Information on Health & Safety. Most people do not know what the health and safety regulations say; an employer must provide this information for their employees.
- Assess the Risks of Using a Workstation. Not all computer systems meet the regulations. Some have monitors that cannot be adjusted and some are used in hazardous areas in factories. All computer equipment has to be risk assessed and made as safe as possible for the user.
Active Working Activities:
- Stand – Particularly during long telephone calls or meetings
- Use the Stairs
- Eat your lunch away from your desk, why not take your lunch outside with another Colleague?
- Use a Sit/Stand Workstation
As with any office adjustments, employers need to evaluate the best ways to achieve this, whether through changing how and when people can take breaks from sitting, which involve standing and movement or through workstation designs and technologies that allow people to perform their work more easily either at their desk location or from other locations within the office space in a standing position.