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They’ve called sitting “the new smoking”, and hunched up behind our desks daily we can feel the toll it takes on our body. An Australian study done in 2012 found that adults who sat for 11 hours or more a day had a 40% increased risk of dying in the next three years compared to those who sat for fewer than four hours a day. Being sedentary is slowly and silently killing you and causing a ton of problems along the way, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, diabetes, cancer and depression.
Too many people suffer from musculoskeletal injuries as a result of bad posture, inappropriate equipment or misuse of falsely branded “ergonomic” equipment, says physiotherapist Piet Nel of ErgonomicsDirect, a division of Medsport, a brand pioneering innovative products and services to improve workplace wellbeing and productivity. “Their mission is to help the modern office worker achieve a healthy, comfortable, and productive work environment by making available high quality, brand name, and highly effective ergonomic office products,” says Nel.
Simply defined, ergonomics is the study of how one’s body interacts with the environment when you perform a task or activity. Office ergonomics focuses on workstation arrangement to fit the individual’s needs and includes specific arrangements of equipment such as the desk, computer monitor, chair, computer keyboard and mouse. Nel says that addressing the ergonomic set-up can improve a person’s posture and reduce conditions associated with long hours spent in a sustained position.
Nel is the master of passive cardio, he doesn’t even have a chair in the office, instead he stands behind his desk and partly sit-stands against a height-adjustable stool that forces you to balance and tighten your core. By no longer sitting at work, Nel has managed to burn more calories standing and says he has never felt fitter! Ergonomics Direct has a range of sit-stand stations for the office set-up; check out their Standing Work Station for R2,449, or their sit-stand wobble stool for R3,299.