Can You Stand It At Work?
More specifically do you have to stand to do your job?
Other questions that come into play are:
• Does your employer require that you not sit while doing your job?
• Are you standing on concrete or other hard surfaces during your whole shift?
It would not seem to be such a burden on your body, to just stand, until you have to do it 8 or more hours a day, 4 or more days a week, 50 or more weeks a year.
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety some of the effects of standing long periods of time are:
• Lower back pain
• Sore feet
• General muscular fatigue
• Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
The biological condition created in the human body from standing for extended periods of time is primarily reduced blood flow, initially to the loaded muscles of the legs, back and neck. This can result in inflammation of the veins and over time develop into chronic conditions such as painful varicose veins. The effects may also be presented in the joints resulting in temporary immobilization or locking of the hips, spine, knees or feet, potentially leading to rheumatic diseases due to break down damage of the ligaments and tendons (the tissue that connects bone to bone, or bone to muscle).
Of course too much of any one thing is usually not good and the same is true of sitting. Sitting for extended periods of time without moving is damaging to the human body as well as standing. As captured in a study from the CDC. Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, 2011 http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2012/11_0323.htm
So how do you win?
• First of all, if you are experiencing extended periods of pain or discomfort effects from the job you are doing, report it to your employer as soon as you realize it and seek medical attention.
• Educate yourself as to what the possible causes may be and solutions to correct them. The attached links provide such information plus more.
• Everything in moderation for starters, if at all possible and you have the freedom to stand or sit, switch from one to the other, trying not to do more than an hour or two of either one at a time.
• If your employer does Job Safety Risk Analysis’ or Ergonomic Analysis’, ask to have one done if there hasn’t been one done for the job you are doing.
• Take personal responsibility, try to take more walks when you get a break instead of sitting and reading the newspaper, drinking a cup of coffee and eating a donut or pastries. Make it a social thing, walk and talk with your coworkers during your breaks.
• Try eating healthier and be more active outside of work if possible.
Other sources of information are:
You only get one body, try to take care of it as if you want it to last a life time.