Why Sitting May Not Be as Safe as You Think
When you hear the phrase “hurt at work,” you might think of accidents in construction sites, lifting injuries in hospitals, or respiratory diseases among firefighters. But did you know that you could be at risk of serious work-related injuries just by sitting in your office chair? Consider talking to a workers’ compensation attorney in San Jose if you think that a recent diagnosis could be linked to a workplace injury.
Understand the Risks
“Sitting disease” is the unofficial moniker of declining health among people who spend much of the workday sitting down instead of moving around. Sitting for too many hours in a day has been linked to an increased risk of numerous health problems, including life-threatening conditions. Perhaps even more troubling, it appears that exercising regularly does not mitigate the effects of prolonged sitting. According to the Mayo Clinic, one study compared a group of adults who reported at least four hours daily of recreational screen time to a group who reported fewer than two hours daily. The group that sat for at least four hours in front of a screen had an almost 50% higher risk of death from any cause. They also had about a 125% increased risk of chest pain, heart attack, and other adverse events associated with cardiovascular disease. Other research supports these conclusions. Some of it points to an increased risk of dementia, cancer, cancer-related deaths, and type 2 diabetes in people who sit for prolonged periods of time.
Know the Preventive Strategies
This research is alarming, but there are steps individuals can take to minimize their risk of adverse health problems. Standing desks and treadmill desks are good options for incorporating more movement into the workday. If you can’t upgrade your workstation, simply get up from your chair and walk around or stretch at least every hour.
Exercise Your Rights
Sitting may increase the risk of long-term health problems, but it can also lead to more immediate health issues. Long hours at the computer can cause carpal tunnel syndrome or neck and back pain, for example. If you feel you may have suffered a work-related injury or illness of any kind, you should know that you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You have the right to consult an attorney to get your case reviewed.