Organisations can spend thousands on new chairs and desks, but is it always worth it?

We have recently visited many businesses in the Cambridge area, they have a high percentage of staff working with technology and on the whole have really good workstation set ups. Unfortunately many of these staff still get neck pain, headaches and back pain.

There are certainly benefits to having the correct workstation setup and a fully adjustable chair, which in our view should be the minimum requirement for all staff. Once that is achieved, what next?

NEWS FLASH – sitting for too long is bad for you, the human body is a collection of systems that need movement to function correctly. The ‘best’ chair in the world cannot replace regular basic movement. Many studies have found the link between sedentary behaviour and a whole host of chronic conditions, it now common knowledge that too much sitting can cause problems. If that is the case why are people still having issues with neck and back pain?

The answer lies in the fact that people believe they have to go for a run at lunch or exercise in the gym everyday. Studies from the University of Chester and Columbia University actually show that regular exercise wont compensate for the negative effects of too much sitting.

The key to preventing issues is frequent movement throughout the day. When sitting is unavoidable pay attention to your posture, and keep the shoulders moving. This can be stretches and movements performed at the desk, or adding certain movements to tasks that are performed each day.

This is an example of a seated rotation we use to improve mid and low back stiffness. It can be performed while sitting. Push the chair back away from the desk, open out the body and pull round using the knee as a pivot. Turning the head and thumb back gets a great stretch for the chest as well. Ensure you perform it in both directions twice.

We have found adding movements to regular tasks is the best way to ensure you keep at it. Try the rotation each time you sit back down on your chair, then you will at least do the movement each time you get up for a drink, have lunch or pop to the loo!

Workplace wellbeing is hugely important and is now well known to have a positive effect on Company profitability. Business should educate their teams, empower them to look after their own body with the correct knowledge.

So next time someone at the office mentions the need for expensive chairs to stop back pain, remember it is not always the furniture that is at fault!

Contact us and we will visit you for FREE and give you lots of great ideas to implement straight away.

Mike Power