Standing for Work? Watch for These Dangers of Standing

If your employees spend all day standing, there are some dangers of standing to be aware of. Did you know that standing for long periods of time at work can be harmful? Several studies and guidelines from OSHA show the ill effects prolonged standing has on your employees. Unfortunately, these physical strains have long-term effects.

Dangers of Standing: Health Issues Associated with Standing for Long Periods at Work

Aside from the general fatigue that comes with prolonged standing, employees are at risk for many other health issues.

  • Joint and Muscle Pain. Staying in the same position is already known to cause strain and pressure on the same parts of the body. Adding bodyweight into the picture from having to stay upright for longer periods causes worse strain. This leads to muscle and joint pains.
  • Chronic Varicose Veins. Prolonged standing causes damage to the valves in the veins of the lower limbs. This, in turn, leads to the valves eventually breaking and ballooning to accommodate the blood flow.
  • Poor Posture. Prolonged standing leads to a long-term issue with poor posture. This is due to the increased strain on joints in the hips, spine, and knees.
  • Cardiovascular Issues. Evidence suggests that prolonged standing at work doubles the risk of heart disease compared to spending hours sitting at a desk. Prolonged standing causes interruptions in blood circulation. This, in turn, leads to a range of cardiovascular effects, putting employees at risk for heart complications.
  • Pregnancy Complications. Prolonged standing increases the risks of pre-term births and miscarriages. This is due to the effects of prolonged standing on posture, spine health, and the joints.

Effects on Employees

The physical toll that prolonged standing has on the body trickles-down into other areas of your operations. Without solutions that alleviate the physical issues, your employees and business are at risk of:

  • Decreased Productivity. Tired employees are less productive than healthy, well-rested employees. Major physical strains impact not just the quantitative aspect of productivity but also the quality. Employees are prone to making more mistakes which can slow down production and affect customer satisfaction.
  • Higher Risk of Accidents. Overfatigued employees are also more prone to mistakes that can lead to accidents and injuries.  
  • Increase in Sick Days. The health risks associated with prolonged standing can cause employees to miss more workdays. This affects your facility’s overall productivity and the quality of work you produce.

Standing for Long Periods at Work: How to Make Things Better

Fortunately, it is not an entirely lost cause for your business and your employees. There are some things you can do to help prevent or alleviate the strains of prolonged standing in your facility:

  • Keep a schedule that allows for frequent sitting and stretching breaks. Breaks in the monotony of work help prevent excessive strain from prolonged standing. Create a work schedule that promotes exactly this. These breaks should allow employees to sit and/or stretch their limbs. This helps promote better circulation and give the muscles, bones, and joints time for rest.
  • Provide ergonomic relief apparel. The most common options are ergonomic footwear, compression socks, and compression hosiery.
  • Invest in ergonomic anti-fatigue floor mats. Anti-fatigue mats are especially-designed mats for prolonged standing. The cushions on these mats promote micro-movements in the feet. These movements, though small, help promote better circulation and allow for even weight distribution. This prevents strain in the muscles and joints, thereby alleviating the bad effects of prolonged standing.

Garden State Mat Has the Tools You Need

Your employees are the lifeblood of your facility. Protect them from the physical strains of prolonged standing with the right tools! Contact Garden State Mat Rental at (800) 486-1581 for information or to sign up for a mat rental service.