Don’t Take This Risk Sitting Down

Don't Take This Risk Sitting Down

Published on:10th April,2017   Category: Accident tips

If you work on your feet all day then there is no doubt you’ll find standing can be a tiring activity.  Sitting for long periods can also be a tiring and potentially risky activity. A recent report published by Safe Work Australia has put the spotlight on the health risks associated with sedentary work.[1]

Over 81% of Australian workers sit during work hours and office workers sit more than most other workers.  Around 23% of all workers reportedly spend all of their time sitting.  According to this report,  sitting for 20-30 minutes for prolonged periods is likely to have a negative impact on your health.

Sitting at a desk all day comes with a number of risks including back injuries and repetitive strain injuries from poorly designed work stations.  Research also suggests that excessive sitting can be associated with conditions including: heart disease, diabetes, obesity and poor mental health.  You might have noticed a recent trend towards workers using stand up desks to alleviate strain associated with sitting all day.  Some workers have even shifted towards using cycling desks or treadmill desks to increase movement during the day.

Tips to get moving and prevent injury in the office:-

  1. Put the office printer in a location where workers have to walk to collect printing;
  2. Install stand up desks to allow workers the flexibility to move from sitting to standing;
  3. Get workers together for an early morning, lunch time or afternoon social walk;
  4. Provide a variety of table options in your lunch room so workers have the option of standing to eat lunch;
  5. Encourage stretching around the office with instructional posters;
  6. Review workstation design or engage a consultant to ensure workstations are designed in the safest way to minimise awkward postures; and
  7. Research new equipment or furniture available to improve workplace postures.

In reality office jobs are generally more safe than jobs involving heavy lifting or dangerous equipment.  That doesn’t mean that we should be complacent about safety within the office.

Some of the major risks to office workers include:-

  1. Manual handling;
  2. Faulty equipment;
  3. Slips, trips and falls;
  4. Poorly designed workplaces;
  5. Bullying and stress related injuries; and
  6. Repetitive strain injuries.

A handy poster about office risks can be found here. 

If you require employment law advice, compensation advice or workplace health and safety advice, please contact one of our experts today.

[1] Sedentary Work Evidence on an Emergent Work Health and Safety Issue, Safe Work Australia, 18 March 2016.

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