18 Jul 2019
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…
We all believe that good posture will help us prevent back pain, but experts are now beginning to question this received wisdom.
Kieran O’Sullivan is the lead physiotherapist at the Sports Spine Centre in Qatar. Having found the evidence linking posture to backache to be insubstantial, he thinks we worry too much about it: “If you don’t have back pain, then do not give your posture one second’s thought – think about being healthy. Sleep deprivation and stress are more important than the lifting you do. Stress has a strong inflammatory role; it can make muscles tense. Most people don’t get that their back can become sore if they are sleep deprived.”
O’Sullivan’s research means we can rest easier (literally!) on our comfy chairs, even in the workplace. With stress being one of the main causes of muscle tension, shouldn’t we therefore be encouraging clients and staff to sit more comfortably? (It’s a good excuse anyway…)
There’s more evidence pointing to the fact that sitting still all day is bad for us, which is why sit-stand desks have become extremely popular. If now is not the right time to introduce them to your organisation, the next best thing would be to create breakout areas with soft seating. These would at least encourage people to take a break from their screens and move to a different area of the building, whether you furnish them with funky Teo tub chairs, cosy Evo huddle pods, comfy Sofia sofas, pill-shaped stools.
The best thing about offering breakout areas is that by encouraging people to take a short break every now and then, their motivation and productivity is likely to rise!
There’s a great business saying that ‘people buy people’, i.e. if a client or customer likes you, they’re more likely to buy from you rather than from a rival business. Inviting them to a meeting in your attractive and comfortable office will certainly help. And if it turns out to be a long meeting, they’re less likely to be aware of time passing if they’re sitting comfortably on soft seating, than if they’re sitting awkwardly on a hard chair. So maybe it’s time to improve your business by showing you’re just a big softie!