Reducing the effects of sedentary occupations

When we think about workplace health and safety, sitting down probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

Yet in recent years there has been a growing focus on the dangers of sedentary occupations as half of Australian workers have jobs that require them to sit down for long periods of time.

Whether it be sitting in an office or driving a car, the very nature of many modern occupations is sedentary, which according to research can be very detrimental to our health. Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to a number of health issues, including musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, poor mental health, some cancers and premature death.

HVTC Manager Human Resources & Safety, Executive, Janet Lee is a qualified occupational therapist and recognises the growing trend in sedentary lifestyles.

“Unfortunately as a whole, we (society) are not as active as we should be,” she said.

“Many people have jobs that involve a lot of sitting, such as office workers or those in the transport industry. Then we go home and sit on the couch to watch TV or at the table while we eat dinner.

“We need to be more mindful of the amount of time we spend sitting and ensure that, if we do have jobs that are sedentary in nature, to spend more of our free time being active.

“When we are at work, there are a few things we can do to reduce the amount of time we spend sitting down, such as checking your desk from an ergonomic perspective and occasionally working at a stand-up desk. Ultimately, it’s about taking the time to STAND up more often and be active.”

The graphic below outlines Janet’s five tips for reducing excessive sitting.

HVTC infographic listing five ways to reduce the impacts of sedentary occupations