The Sedentary lifestyle - Making us sitting ducks against bad posture.


The sedentary lifestyle, for a majority of humans, is relatively new. Until very recently, physical activity has been a part of the human lifestyle. It was an influential factor in our lifestyle for maintaining good physical health, as we have been finding recently. Since the industrial revolution, there has been a shift from manual labor jobs to office jobs, predominantly because of globalization, an increase in outsourcing of jobs and technological advances (especially the internet and computers). In the 1960s, one in two Americans had a physically demanding job while in 2011, the ratio had dropped down to one in five.


Not just for work, but the sedentary lifestyle has creped in all parts of our life, including leisure as well as education. Studies have also shown how postural health in cities is significantly worse compared to rural areas. A significant contributing factor is the greater proportion of sedentary jobs in the city. The health of a population also depends upon the walkability of the area. Regions having more pedestrian-friendly transit also have shown better health in the residents/users compared to areas designed for vehicular transport. While advancement in science and technology has significantly improved our lives, it has also caused an increase in different problems. Health problems relating to the lack of movement and bad posture are one of the most prominent urban issues plaguing us.


Bad Posture - Costing businesses money 


Bad Posture has been linked to a loss of productivity - costing businesses money. Bad posture has been shown to overwhelmingly affect a loss in energy levels and hormone release. While these are just short-term effects, studies have proven how bad posture has a detrimental effect on our long-term health adding up to serious problems. 


Sitting for more than 30 mins continuously in one place can lead to bad posture, while people sit for considerably longer times, even on uncomfortable furniture. Bad posture, leading to poor health affects the long-term business since employees cannot perform their best under pain. Another factor that accentuates this problem is outdated and unsafe furniture. It accounts for a considerable amount of workplace injuries which also affects productivity. 


Pandemic - The New Normal 


Since the Pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in the number of work-from-home jobs, which has decreased physical activity even more - since people were not even travelling anymore - especially people who do not actively engage in physical exercise. Since people were not prepared for it, they didn’t have access to office furniture, making them work on their dining tables, beds and couches, which are extremely bad for posture. 


The problem with standard furniture


Furniture has been traditionally built with the idea that one size fits all, at least in specific regions. But even then, physical proportions greatly vary when compared to the average sizes. While it helps with manufacturing on a large scale, it isn’t helpful for all sorts of people. Average sizes are only comfortable to a small part of the population. Traditionally, Furniture seldom was designed keeping in mind the entire human structure and how the design affects us physically. It is usually incompatible with our physique - causing back, neck and shoulder pain - depending upon how long people sit. Since the amount of time spent on the furniture piece wasn’t long, it didn’t have a detrimental effect on our health. Only after we started remaining seated in one place for a long time did it begin impacting us. While furniture alone cannot help with good posture, it does affect our posture to a great degree.


Anthropometrics and Ergonomics


Anthropometrics is a study of the human body, its proportions and its movement. Ergonomics is the scientific discipline of designing products. While Anthropometry involves collecting data, Ergonomics consists of implementing that data to devise products that are better fit for usage. The principle of Ergonomics states that the environment should be designed to be more compatible with human use than humans adjusting to the environment. It is used for developing products that improve user experience and thus also enhance productivity. These studies have driven a new family of products to be built that helps keep a neutral posture, helping us be less affected by bad posture because of assistance in form. 


How to use the correct furniture to stay healthy


1. Ergonomic Chairs

Ergonomic chairs are crucial in helping us maintain a neutral posture without any strain on the spine or any of the joints. They will help you focus better because there is no distracting discomfort. Ergonomic chairs allow you to adjust most of the parts, making them comfortable for a larger population. The ergonomic chair helps avoid long-term problems by providing support and making it easier for maintaining good posture. 


2, Sit-stand Desk 

New studies have been showing the problem of sitting for too long, and the saying ‘sitting is the new smoking’ has been gaining more popularity. Sit-stand desks have been gaining popularity recently, where the height can be adjusted. That allows you to alternate between sitting and standing, which would help you stay more active throughout the day. Sit-stand desks also help bring your blood sugar to normal quickly after a meal, according to some studies. They also reduce the strain on your shoulder and back.


3. Ergonomic home furniture 

Not just office furniture, but a lot of other pieces of furniture products that are mindfully designed using ergonomics and safety. 


4. Ergonomic Pillows and Appropriate mattresses. 

Using ergonomics pillows and appropriate mattresses according to your body type also helps in avoiding pain that happens during sleep. They help keep the body in a more neutral position which helps avoid strain in certain muscles or joints. 


Thus your furniture doesn’t have only aesthetic and utilitarian capabilities, but it also affects your health a lot. Having small tips and tricks can help you get a little better but hiring experts help you use the most optimum products depending upon your personalised needs. Contact us to find the best design solutions which help with your health and wellness through ergonomic design.