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Sitting is the New Smoking; Herman Miller Ergonomics

October 26, 2020

Believe it or not, the science shows sitting for long periods of time is more harmful to your health than smoking. The phrase “sitting is the new smoking” was coined by Dr. James Levine PHD with the Mayo Clinic. Excessive sitting has been linked to more than 2 dozen chronic diseases and conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, back pain, ankle swelling, and deep vein thrombosis. With nearly 80% of American’s complaining about back pain, work-related musculoskeletal disorders can keep an employee out for an average of 20 days per year according to the CDC. They also noted this loss in employee productivity accounts for a whopping $45-54 billion in lost revenue annually. Employee health affects your business’ bottom line. Ergonomic seating solutions can minimize these costs and also increase productivity by properly supporting the back and encouraging healthy posture.

Sitting in today’s workplace is inevitable. Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick knew this when they combined their deep knowledge of human-centered design, ergonomics, and materials in 1994 to create the classic Herman Miller Aeron Chair. The remastering of the Aeron Chair in 2016 is a prime example of how Herman Miller, with the help of experts such as Dr. Walker, develops chairs using proprietary materials and mechanisms that enable people to experience a healthier seated posture. Made possible by advancements in materials, manufacturing, and technology, the enhanced Aeron advances the chair’s ability to reduce pressure points, respond to the body’s micro-movements, and support the sacral and lumbar regions of the spine in order to combat the harmful side effects of prolonged sitting. Herman Miller didn’t stop at the Aeron Chair designed with health in mind. They also offer a variety of desks with sit to stand capabilities that help workers increase their movement throughout the work day and reduce health risks. Sit to stand capabilities are crucial to keeping your employees healthy, productive, & comfortable. Below we have some benefits to practicing the sit to stand motion & avoiding long periods of sitting:


5 Benefits of Sit to Stand Motion

  1. Movement improves blood circulation.

Extended stints of sitting still can cause blood to collect in your veins. This can lead to an increased risk for blood clots or deep venous thrombosis. Standing up and moving around can help counteract these processes by reducing blood pressure and increasing circulation in the body.

  1. Movement improves your metabolism.

Depending on your body composition, sitting for 20-45 minutes or more causes the body to enter a hibernation zone. This slows our metabolism to conserve energy instead of expending it. By moving from a seated position to a standing position, you can kickstart your metabolism. Getting into regular cycles of sit to stand behavior will burn a few more calories per day than sitting.

  1. Movement is good for your back.

Moving helps relieves tension in the back and allows your spine to articulate in its healthiest, natural S-curve position.

  1. Movement gives you an energy boost.

When you feel sluggish, changing postures activates the brain and endorphins so you can focus on the task at hand. The improved blood flow can improve our focused work, engagement on phone calls, and creative work.

  1. Every sit to stand movement equals one squat.

When you get ready to sit discreetly hover over your chair for 15 seconds to give the glutes a little extra work out. When you stand, remember to squeeze at the top.

The bottom line is that a healthy workplace contributes to your business’ bottom line. Contact your local Tampa Bay Herman Miller partner Workscapes to make sure your team is maximizing their productivity:


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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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