This Article is About
cushy chairs
upper echelon
office job
health hazard
office furniture
workday
health risks
life expectancy
Why You Should Consider Dumping Your Office Chair
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Why You Should Consider Dumping Your Office Chair

If you are a fan of television you’re more than likely familiar with the once popular sitcom Seinfeld. In an episode on this show, George, one of the lead characters, was concerned that a security guard, who worked at one of his father-in-law-to-be stores, was standing all day and sought to secure a chair for him. Eventually, the guard got the chair and shortly after that the store was robbed while he was fast asleep in his rather comfortable chair.

So much for the guard and his chair, but if you are employed in the business world you probably have one of those nice cushy chairs designed to make you comfortable during the workday. This is especially true if you’re in the upper echelon of management. Often businesses spend thousands of dollars on office furniture as perks for top employees either to reinforce current levels of performance or to motivate future performance.

Now less I be misunderstood, let me state up front that I’m not in any way averse to opulent office furnishings. I love offices that are well appointed and look the part, but in the midst of all this beauty is the fact that your office chair can be a health hazard. Several studies have shown that soft cushy chairs encourage prolonged sitting and too much sitting can be detrimental to your health.

In fact, many researchers now assert that sitting in general may be as harmful as smoking and obesity when it comes to health risks. Moreover, some findings suggest that every hour spent sitting after the age of 25 reduces your life expectancy by about 20 minutes. One may deduce then that if you sit 4 -5 hours a day at your job you could be shortening your life by approximately an hour and a half each day.

Now hold your horses, don’t quit your nice office job just yet. There are actually some things you can do to mitigate the devastating impact of sitting. First make a determination to keep moving. Once you develop this mindset you will automatically begin to behave in a fashion that perpetuates consistent daily motion. Here are five more specific actions you can take to counteract the effects of sitting. 1.) Develop a set of exercises you can do at your desk. 2.) Replace your office chair with a stool if you can. 3.) Start using the restroom that’s at the other end of the corridor or on the next floor. 4.) Take frequent walking and stretching breaks. 5.) Practice sitting on the edge of your chair.

You probably do not want to get rid of your office chair, but if you are going to keep it you should be aware of the dangerous consequences sitting engenders and in addition you should become familiar with the actions you can take to minimize the negative impact associated with prolonged sitting. George from the sitcom might have been well intentioned in his effort to assist the security officer, but given what we know today, the security officer would have been far better off continuing to stand, both for his own health and for the overall security of the store.


Street Talk

What's the saying "body in motion tend to stay in motion" - something like that. Good message, keep moving. Good read, good linking and liked the Seinfeld reference.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

The older we get the less we move Robert, so any movement is good movement. Thanks for the comment Robert. Cheers!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Leonardo2  

There are office chairs that are ergonomically designed for prolonged seating. Though there are certain adjustment that respond to the body's seating position: e.g height adjustment,tilt and swivel,the lumbar support and backrest...you still need to stand and walk at least every 2 hours in your 8-hour long work...thanks for a very interesting article Des

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Leonardo. You're right, there are some ergonomically designed chairs to mitigate the effects of prolonged sitting. Perhaps that would help a bit, but we'll still need to do a lot more to fight against the harmful health effects sitting engenders. Many thanks for the read and the feedback. Cheers!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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