Deskbound workers have their own issues, as spending so much time in the office means that they’re vulnerable to musculoskeletal disorders; painful disorders in the hand, arms, necks, shoulders, and/or their backs. These diseases have been linked to poor office ergonomics, which has resulted in offices in major countries like Singapore responding by buying ergonomic sit stand desks and other office furniture to help improve their employees’ health and welfare.
Responding to the new demand for ergonomic furniture stores, retailers across the world have been introducing more and more ergonomically designed products.
At Singapore’s ErgoWorks, a furniture company specializing in ergonomically designed products, have seen the proportion of their clients looking for ergonomic office solutions doubling across half a decade, according to Alex Cheng, the company’s sales and marketing manager.
Yuying Deng, CEO and Co-Founder of Ideal Workspace, the company behind the popular Altizen sit stand desks, estimated that the demand for such products have gone up by about 20-30% annually for the past three years. Ms. Deng adds that ergonomic office furniture is more expensive than regular office furniture, thanks to letting their users customise them to meet their specifications, on top of having higher product standards to ensure that they remain useful for years.
Singapore has seen a lot of occupational diseases recently, with the 2017 Workplace Safety and Health report saying that 799 cases of occupational diseases were properly documented and confirmed for the year. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 337 of these cases, with 314 of those 337 being back injuries. These cases were reported from the transport and storage, manufacturing and construction employment sectors, and many others.
Private physiotherapy firm Core Concepts reported that the common complaints deskbound office workers report tend to be neck pain, cervicogenic headaches (headaches stemming from the cervical spine located in the neck), as well as lower back pain.
This is the problem that office workers face, a problem made clear by 47 studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2015, which reported that people who sat for long periods of time were at greater risk of prematurely dying from causes like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, as well as cancer.
Experts have recommended that, in spite of any ergonomic office solutions like sit stand desks present at the workplace, that people should spend some time moving around and getting some activity, as the body needs movement to encourage natural circulation.