The main health risks of sedentary work include cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and visual and auditory risks.

Increased Cardiovascular Diseases:

Sedentary work exponentially increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Without exercise, the heart muscle loses power and oxygenates the muscles and organs less effectively. Consequently, more employees are overweight, diabetic, or suffer from high blood pressure, all of which accentuate cardiovascular risks and mortality rates. The mortality rate increases depending on the number of hours of inactivity and can reach up to +34% for a sedentary worker who spends more than ten hours a day without physical activity.

Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Classic in Offices

Musculoskeletal disorders, also known as MSDs, are common in a sedentary workspace. Neck pain, weakened wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome), painful fingers, and lower back pain are daily struggles for many office employees. Prolonged static sitting positions and constant use of computer tools are often implicated in these disorders.

Visual Risks: When Working in Front of a Computer Fatigues

Working in front of a computer screen intensively for several hours a day strains the eyes. Consequently, by the end of the day, employees experience visual fatigue, manifested by symptoms such as eye redness, glare, headaches, and dry eyes. These symptoms disappear with rest but may worsen if the workstation is not properly adapted or if the lighting is poor.

Auditory Risks

Office employees are also exposed to constant noise on a daily basis. These health risks are not limited to receptionists and sales teams whose primary tool of work is the telephone. Any workspace has a sound environment that can eventually disrupt the hearing of employees. This may include the noise of a printer, phone ringing, conversations between colleagues and clients, and sometimes even music in some offices. Ultimately, employees may experience auditory fatigue and tinnitus by the end of the day. In some cases, temporary or permanent auditory lesions may occur.

How to Prevent the Risks of Sedentary Work?

To limit the harmful effects of sedentary work on health, here are some tips:

Regularly stand up from the workstation to interact with colleagues or simply to break the routine.

Adopt a standing position; some companies even provide standing desks.

Engage in regular physical activity such as walking, running, cycling, or swimming.

Avoid snacking at the desk.

Adjust the workstation for better ergonomics: adjust the screen, eye-screen distance, chair tilt, etc.