Sedentary Jobs Can Do Major Damage to an Employee’s Health
Yoga ball chairs, standing desks, and even foot treadmills under office chairs are just a few ways companies are taking aim at health risks of sedentary lifestyles. Even if an employee is active at home or gets regular exercise, he or she is still at a greater risk of mortality simply by sitting in a chair for prolonged periods while at work. While people whose jobs involve constant computer use or sitting with little movement are at significant risk of health problems, they may also be eligible for workers’ compensation for the injuries they suffer.
A Sedentary Job Can Have Long-Term Health Consequences
Technology has taken much of the physical strain out of daily life, including the way people earn a living. Many workers nationwide spend a large portion of their workdays sitting down, with more than half of the average person’s waking hours spent sitting. Office workers, delivery drivers, and others who sit for long periods are at risk of a variety of potential health problems, including:
- Musculoskeletal injuries. The most common injuries from prolonged sitting affect the muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments. Many workers suffer neck and shoulder pain, as well as back problems due to poor posture. Sedentary workers are also more likely to be overweight, further aggravating back problems which can lead to spinal disc degeneration.
- Cardiovascular injuries. Blood and circulation abnormalities are common in sedentary workers, who are likely to experience higher blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Sitting for hours on end can also increase risk of metabolic syndrome and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), either of which can prove fatal.
- Illnesses. Sitting increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity, but also associated illnesses such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancers.
- Eyestrain. Eye problems due to computer use are so prevalent that the symptoms have been gathered into a single condition known as computer vision syndrome (CVS). Common symptoms include dry eyes, eye fatigue, blurred or double vision, chronic headaches, and neck pain.
- Mental health. When muscles move, oxygen-rich blood flows freely throughout the body, stimulating mood-enhancing chemicals and cognitive function. If a worker is sedentary for a long time, heart and brain function will slow down, creating chemical imbalances and contributing to anxiety and depression.
Complications caused by prolonged sitting can qualify as occupational diseases, making the employee eligible for workers’ compensation. If you have suffered an injury as a result of your work environment, please fill out the form on this page to make an appointment for a consultation with an attorney.