Office workers who are grafted to their chairs could be jolted into moving more if a new device takes off
The ‘sitting pad’ emits a loud beep when its occupant needs to get up and move. Those that think they can trick it by quickly slumping back down will simply fire the siren off once more.
Workers that find the idea intrusive can take comfort in the knowledge that it was developed by the University of Queensland with their health in mind.
“Sitting for large portions of the day is associated with poor health outcomes and a reduced life expectancy, even for those people who might be considered physically active,” says researcher Gemma Ryde.
If you need an excuse for a gulp of fresh air, cup of coffee or wander around the block, sitting for too long increases your risk of heart disease,diabetes and obesity, as well as taking its toll on your joints, muscles and posture.
Researchers used the device to measure the sitting patterns of office workers and found that employees spend over two-thirds of their work hours sitting at a desk.
“Regular variation between sitting, standing and walking is vital,” says Kris Fraser from the University of Queensland’s Occupational Health and Safety Unit. “I encourage computer users to vary their posture briefly, every 30 minutes, when working at a computer for long periods.”