Is your work harming you?


Stefanie Ipsaro-Passione

Continually working in a seated position can be bad for your health.

Stefanie Ipsaro-Passione

With office jobs on the rise, Australian activity levels have hit an all-time low.

Statistics show 50% of Australians work in a job position that involves being sedentary for over eight hours.

Safe Work Australia says prolonged sitting can cause negative impacts such as poor posture, a reduction in energy expenditure and insufficient muscle movement.

Filippa Gauci is an Occupational Therapist at Purple Patch Therapy.

She says working in an office job can cause problems.

“An increased risk of cumulative trauma disorder and physical injuries developing as a result of maintaining a static posture for a long duration of time.”

She says these injuries include wrist and upper limb conditions as well as chronic back and neck pain.

Gauci says those suffering from chronic pain should aim to exercise 30 minutes a day and alternate between a seated and standing position.

“[Office workers] would benefit from engaging in a physical therapy program and regular exercises to ensure they are moving all joints within the recommended range of motion,” she says.

Gauci recommends to avoid injuries having an “ergonomic set up that includes a sit to stand desk” as well as ensuring your computer is positioned at an optimum level to avoid strain.

Expert say it’s especially important for office workers to maintain an active lifestyle outside of work.

The Australian Health guidelines suggests a weekly goal of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity.

Gauci says exercise is beneficial for physical health along with socialising, team-building skills and mental health.

Exercise doesn’t have to involve just jogging on the treadmill. There are other pursuits like martial arts, spin classes, pole dancing, yoga, weightlifting, HIIT circuits and pilates.

There are even apps that provide videos for at-home workouts.

Even during self-quarantine, there are ways to keep active.