In the course of evolution, the human body has been designed to be constantly on the move. To ensure survival, the ancestors of today’s humans had to hunt, gather and flee above all else. Therefore, the body has a natural need for movement. Nowadays, however, it is difficult for many people to meet this need. Many people spend the day sitting at a desk or doing their jobs standing up and do not have enough time in their free time to engage in physical activities. This lack of exercise can lead to serious health consequences.
This article clarifies how healthy standing work is possible.
How is Healthy standing possible in the workplace?
In order to adopt a healthy standing posture, the back in particular should remain in as permanently straight a position as possible. The abdominal and gluteal muscles should be tensed so that the formation of a hollow back is avoided. Since standing for long periods at a time puts a lot of strain on the body, the posture should be changed regularly. This mainly involves shifting the weight from one foot to the other, and the posture and rotation of the body should also be corrected and adjusted from time to time, depending on the activity. Care should also be taken to keep the shoulders in a relaxed state to avoid discomfort due to tension.
A few words about Physics
When a person stands, it puts a physical strain on the body. Due to the force of gravity, the muscles and joints are constantly stressed. Although from an evolutionary point of view the body is designed to walk upright, work activities while standing are mostly performed in a certain posture that allows little room for changes in stance. This leads to an unnaturally strong and permanent strain on the body, which can cause corresponding consequential health damage.
What options does the Employer have to Enable Healthy Standing at the Workplace?
The employer should create a health-promoting work environment in order to maintain the performance of the employees. Depending on the industry and activity, different measures can be considered in this regard. In general, employers should provide both appropriate work shoes and the softest possible surface for all activities that involve standing for long periods of time. Both reduce the strain on muscles and joints so that the risk of musculoskeletal impairments is reduced. By providing a standing desk, an employer also helps employees maintain a healthy posture while working while standing. Standing desks are height-adjustable and can therefore be adapted to the different needs of employees.
What other measures make working while Standing Conducive to Good Health?
Regular relaxation exercises are recommended to reduce the strain on muscles and joints. This includes, above all, the systematic relaxation of shoulders, hips, and knees through suitable exercises. This can be done to a sufficient extent, especially during breaks at work.
During work, it is advisable to regularly shake out the legs and relieve and relax the shoulders and hips with circular movements.
What are the Health Consequences of Unhealthy Standing Work?
Those who permanently work in an unhealthy standing posture risk significant health problems in the long run:
First, painful tension and hardening of the muscles occur. These manifest themselves in movement pains and aches in various parts of the body. Persistent headaches are also the result of muscular tension caused by unhealthy standing during work. Over a longer period of time, malpositions and incorrect postures of limbs develop, often resulting in chronic complaints that are not infrequently a reason for premature incapacity to work. In the long term, this often leads to degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis.