The typical office worker will sit at their desk for over 1,300 hours this year.
They also sit 10,000 hours just eight years into their career, and 53,000 hours by the time they retire.
Data, gathered by Banner, shows that despite growing concern for the health and wellbeing of employees, desk-based employees are estimated to spend 70 percent of their working day sitting down.
Searches for “hip pain” and “chair pain” are on the up, while searches for “back ache” remain high, all symptoms associated with chronic inactivity.
Jason Thomas, Strategic Sales Manager at Banner, says:
“As it’s often cited that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert within a given field, most of us will be a pro at sitting five times over by the time we retire. With numerous health issues associated with long-term sitting, this is a growing concern for employers across the UK.”
The standing desk
Promisingly, searches for solutions, such as “standing desk” and “ergonomic chair” have also risen since COVID-19, which suggests workers are beginning to address the health implications a sedentary work schedule can cause.
Jason Thomas continues, “To encourage a healthier workplace, employers should make sure office and home work-stations are set up with health and wellbeing in mind. It’s great to see standing desks and under-desk treadmills being more widely adopted in recent years, but there’s more that can be done.
“Cultural changes, such as walking competitions, no-chair meeting rooms, discounted gym memberships and lunch-time yoga classes, can all help encourage employees to become more active while at work. A healthier workforce will improve productivity, long-term absenteeism and demonstrates that as an employer, you have your employee’s back – so to speak!”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.