What Standing for a Long Time Does to Your Employees
Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More, Move Often.
We’ve heard these phrases many times. Several studies across the globe have all concurred that prolonged sitting and a largely sedentary lifestyle have adverse effects on our health. Research has found that sitting for long periods of time can lead to dying earlier. This is why many businesses have invested in improving the working conditions of their employees who sit at their desks in front of a computer for hours every day.
But what about standing for a long time?
While many primarily sedentary jobs exist, there are also many jobs that involve standing for long periods of time. Emerging studies have shown that employees who are on their feet for hours on end may also suffer from health problems. These are more serious than what can easily be treated with a good foot massage.
Health Problems Related to Standing for Long Hours
While standing is a normal posture for the human body and does not pose a health risk when done for regular periods of time, having to stay in that position for hours creates an imbalance in the way the body carries itself. This is critical for jobs that require employees to stand in place for long periods of time with very little movement. This imbalance in weight distribution leaves all the work to only a few parts of the body, causing both short- and long-term health issues, including:
1. Muscle Fatigue
Research shows that employees who spend more than 50% of their entire shift at work standing are more likely to suffer from muscle fatigue, especially in the lower extremities (legs, feet, ankles, knees, pelvis). This muscle fatigue from standing for long hours is directly linked to certain levels of work-related psychological fatigue. Both types of stress cause employees to lose mental concentration and loss of productivity to certain degrees.
2. Neck and Shoulder Pain
In a study conducted in China on the prevalence of neck and shoulder pain among teachers, it was found that standing for a long time at work was a major contributing factor to their pain. The study participants who reported having to be on their feet for more than 30 minutes at a time experienced more neck and shoulder pain than those who were not standing for long periods of time.
3. Lower Back Pain
With a lot of body weight being concentrated on the lower extremities, standing for a long time has been found to be one of the most common causes of chronic lower back pain amongst workers. This, along with regularly having to lift heavy objects, has been found to have significant adverse effects, resulting in incidences of musculoskeletal pain on the lower back.
4. Heart Disease
A recent study revealed that workers who are standing for long periods of time are in as much risk for heart disease as those who mostly sit throughout their shifts. The 12-year study found that of the participants who developed heart disease, 6.6% were among the workers whose jobs require them to stand for long hours as opposed to the 2.8% of those surveyed who sat more than they stood.
5. Chronic Venous Disease (CVD)
CVD is a disease of the lower extremities which manifests as lower leg pain, leg swelling, varicose veins, and spider veins. In this study on hospital employees, CVD was found in 34% of the participants. Aside from other determining factors of the disease, the most dominant cause among healthcare workers is prolonged standing at work.
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Speak with any of our reps today to get started! Call 800-486-1581 or drop us a line for a free quote!