Focus on the Safety and Health at Work
April 28th is the World Day for Safety and Health at work. The International Labour Organization (ILO) marks that day for promoting the prevention of occupational and work-related diseases. It is an annual international campaign, and there is a different theme in each year - “Occupational safety health (OSH) vulnerability of young workers” is the theme of this year, while the theme of 2017 is “Optimize the collection and use of OSH data”, and the 2016’s is “Workplace Stress: A collective challenge”, etc. Also, the ILO prepares a report each year to call on preventing occupational disease globally.
It’s worth noting that with an increasing percentage of jobs becomes sedentary, the risk of getting occupational diseases becomes higher. Besides, research has linked prolonged sitting to a number of negative health concerns, including heart disease, metabolic syndrome (including diabetes), mental and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which have been proved as the hidden epidemic according to report of ILO. What’s more, the WHO even places physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. For this reason, we need to take action on improving our workplace safety and health ASAP.
1. Maintain a good posture
A poor posture is responsible for the ill effects of sedentary sitting. To maintain a good posture at work, we should follow the key points below. Firstly, keep the head upright, don’t let your ear ahead or backward to your shoulder. Secondly, keep eyes looking slightly downward without bending the neck. Thirdly, sit closer to the desk and lean in a chair with a back support. Fourthly, set the desk to the proper position to keep the upper arms vertical and forearms horizontal to the desktop. Last but not the least, place your feet flat on the floor, and remember do not cross your legs.
2. Alternate between sitting, standing and moving
Sitting or standing, which one is the best?
As we all know, prolonged sitting has a negative effect on our health, while prolonged standing also comes with health risks. Therefore, alternating between sitting, standing and moving is probably the best choice.
The human body is made to move and there is no doubt that movement is important to our health, it can increase blood circulation, burn more calories, lower stress and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic problems. And experts suggest standing for about briefly 5 to 20 minutes each hour can substantially reduce the risks caused by sedentary behavior.
3. Invest in ergonomic products
An un-proper set workplace prevents employees from sitting in a proper posture causing a number of physical problems, such as low back pain, shoulder stress, and headache, etc., while the ergonomic products can help reduce these problems. With a height adjustable standing desk or standing desk converter, users can easily adjust the desk height convenient for sitting or standing at work, in addition, the sitting time can be reduced by up to 60 percent. What’s more, combined with a highly adjustable chair, anti-fatigue standing mat or footrest and other ergonomic accessories can set the workplace more ergonomic and encourage more movement.
4. Strengthen the awareness of workplace protection
No matter how well a workplace is designed, an employee who doesn’t have the awareness of workplace protection will suffer discomfort. The key is that companies or employers have the duty to explain the health hazards caused by prolonged sitting, and employees need to train on knowing how to adjust their workstations and improve working postures and positions to fit their individual needs.
Occupational safety and health is a big challenge for the company, since it is more than just a safety issue, it will also impact on working productivity of employees and cause huge suffering and loss. Prevention is more effective and less costly than treatment and rehabilitation. All the companies and employees can take action to improve the working environment for preventing occupational diseases.
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