With a paradigm shift from increasing sedentary behavior to a culture of avoiding sitting activities when and however possible, employees’ interest in implementing fitness equipment as a part of their workstation’s setup has gone viral. We learned that standing is not the cure to sitting, as it is also a static, inactive posture (see article “Good News: Your Chair is NOT killing you”). Rather, we found that movement is the opposite of sitting. So fitness equipment in the workplace can increase movement, therefore reducing the health risks involved with inactive behavior, right? Well,… yes, and no.
Where Does Fitness Equipment Belong in the Workplace?
While the health and safety of employees is a priority (and mandated by regulation no less), providing fitness equipment in the workplace to help workers improve their overall well-being is a business choice. Employers may decide to support this interest and invest in a wellness program that can be implemented across the business. Upon doing so, a workplace gym may be offered, where appropriate fitness equipment can be safely positioned and used in a designated space intended for exercise purposes. But should employers invest in fitness equipment as part of their staff’s workstation furniture so workers can do “deskercises”?
The simple answer is NO. We certified ergonomists and injury prevention experts at Briotix support the scientifically-proven benefits adjustable solutions provide, leading to reductions in lost productivity, reduced Worker’s Compensation claims, reduced healthcare costs, etc. However, use of fitness equipment as part of workstation furniture poses additional health and safety risks that actually reflect inverse results.
Negative Impacts of Desk Exercise Equipment
As an example, imagine a worker walking on a treadmill at his desk while typing and mousing away on the computer. All of a sudden, a colleague comes by to discuss business matters. The worker on the treadmill turns his attention to the colleague and neglects to take that extra step necessary for safe, balanced walking. He trips and falls, hitting his head on the edge of the desk and causing a concussion that could take a fatal turn. Now, as an employer, you are dealing with a very costly Worker’s Compensation claim and have the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to report to. Though this may be a worst-case scenario, it is one we never want employers to have to worry about.
At Briotix, we stress the importance of movement and methods for improving fitness AWAY from the desk. We offer a comprehensive, customizable wellness package that can be either rolled out as its own program or integrated into your current ergonomics program to put the “deskercise” fad to rest. This package is completely flexible and has proven cost-effective for our clients. You have the absolute choice to decide on which parts of the package are appropriate for your business.
ErgoFit – a comprehensive, customizable wellness package
Contact us for a customized solution today!