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Combating the Harsh Reality of Inactivity at Your Desk

It’s become a well-known fact among corporate wellness initiatives that inactivity equals around 15 percent of employer healthcare expenditures annually. While this statistic has obvious implications for employers, it certainly says something about the dangers posed to employees as well.

Dr. Levine of Mayo Clinic wrote, “Being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterward or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. Excessive sitting,” he says, “is a lethal activity.” The potential impact of inactivity throughout your day- excluding direct injuries- can range from back strain to repetitive stress injuries (RSI), inflation in health insurance costs (both to the employer and the employees), productivity and deep vein thrombosis, etc.

So, you can’t do your job without your computer… at your desk. What do you do? If your employer does not offer any sort of wellness initiative, offer to start one. Take charge of your health and bring your coworkers with you. Countless resources are offered online, many of them free, that can get you well on your way. Suggest to your HR department or whoever manages your benefits package, which probably includes health insurance, that you would like to head up a wellness team or committee. Then, grab one or two coworkers who share your interest, or concern, and get after some brainstorming for your office. Start by researching the ROI your employer can expect from your efforts. The internet is chock-full of research articles on the topic so grab some information and go from there.

Corporate wellness is a hot topic for employers. Especially with consistent changes in potential government mandates related to insurance costs, etc. If your company does not have a system in place to help manage these changes, and you’re the one who leads the way, that will mean big things for you in the future! Who doesn’t want to promote an employee who shows awareness of industry trends, concern for the well-being of company health and gets creative about saving corporate profit?

SOURCE: NY Times, Desk Active
IMAGE: Courtesy of WorkSnug Blog

Jesika Moffitt

Jesika works as a Recruiter & Placement Manager for a staffing service. She has an M.A. in Corporate & Organizational Communication from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and hopes to teach someday soon.

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