Health and Safety at Your Desk – The Hidden Dangers of Sitting Still


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When you hear about workplace health and safety you might be forgiven for thinking that this applies solely to construction work, or work with hazmat materials, and that in short it doesn't apply to jobs with no obvious dangers where you are mostly sitting in an office at a desk. However the reality is that in fact sitting at the desk can be quite bad for your health too, and can actually be quite dangerous if you aren't careful resulting in life long chronic conditions. You may be less likely to fall and hurt yourself, or to be hit by falling shrapnel, but this 'slow burn' damage can be just as severe and is something of a silent killer. Here we will look at the dangers you face sitting at your desk, and how to try and combat them.

Back and Neck Problems

Back and neck problems can very easily develop sitting at the desk because you are holding the same precise position for such long periods of time. If your posture here is not optimal, then you will be putting a strain on your back by curving it and over time this can result in problems such as a trapped nerve or slipped disk. To avoid this you must ensure that you sit in the correct position at your desk which means you should have your back straight and the force of gravity travelling down it in a straight line. To accomplish this make sure you have your monitor at a good height for your head so that you don't need to double over to see it, and try tucking your legs and feet underneath your chair which instantly forces you to sit more upright. It's also worth spending a considerable amount of money on a decent desk chair which should be as supportive as possible to keep your back straight and to support the lower curvature.

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Eye Strain

Eye strain can be a problem due to your spending long periods of time looking at the monitor. The main problems here are caused when you have glare on the screen as this can make the text difficult to read and force your eyes to adapt to the increased light. To reduce this effect make sure that you angle your monitor to avoid glare on the screen, and/or ask for a glare protector which will limit the amount of reflection. You should also make sure to take regular breaks from staring at the screen to rest your eyes.


RSI is repetitive strain injury and is a risk when you spend all day clicking a mouse and typing. Look for ergonomically designed keyboards and mice that can rest your wrist and help to support you when making those movements. Again rest is also important here and you can also benefit from lightly massaging your hands and wrists.


Circulation Problems

Circulation issues can be caused if you spend a lot of time sitting down as your blood pools in your feet. This can lead to varicose veins and in worst case scenarios even in deep vein thrombosis. Again the solution is to take breaks and to get up and walk around during these. You can also combat the problem though by ensuring that you keep moving your feet while they're under the desk, and you can get massage boards for instance that you can press your feet against to encourage healthy circulation.

Sherry Walker gives healthcare advices including information on problems that are caused by sitting still for long and treatments on

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