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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Workplace options offer health benefits

While workers have traditionally sat at their workstations in order to enter data or work on computers, that trend is changing in some locations in Georgia and across the nation. Standing desks are increasing in popularity at Emory College. One woman explained that a back injury and the following surgery made it next to impossible for her to sit for long periods of time. She asked if she could have a standing desk as an option. Since switching, she has noticed a number of benefits, such as less back pain and increased energy.

Research has proven that the negative effects of sedentary lifestyles developed over time due to sitting down on the job. An Emory graduate led a 2010 study released by the American Cancer Study that looked at the lifespan of 123,000 middle-aged adults. Some sat for six hours a day or more; others sat for three or less hours daily. The significant results indicated that the longer adults sat, the higher their risk of death even if they increased other activities. For men, that rate rose 20 percent while for women, it rose almost 40 percent. Extended sitting contributed to weight gain as well as cardiovascular disease.

Standing isn't the only option for Emory employees; some use exercise balls or come up with their own alternatives for workstations. One worker experimented after she suffered from stress headaches. She noticed an improvement when she began standing at work. Another employee at the college developed his own treadmill desk for his workstation because of the high cost of the ones on the market.

When individuals need to collect workers' compensation after they were hurt at work, they may not know what to do. A workers' compensation attorney might be able to help clients pursue legal action if they have suffered an on-the-job injury.

Source: Emory Report, "More employees trading chairs for fit-friendly desks", Kimber Williams, July 24, 2013

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