Employers have poor control of sitting still

In a large number of workplaces, there are no routines for detecting and remedying risks with prolonged sedentary life. It shows an inspection that the Swedish Work Environment Authority has done.

Stress problems are one of the most common job-related health problems in Sweden and in the rest of Europe, and prolonged sedentary work in uncomfortable working positions is pointed out as a common cause behind the problems.

– Many people do not think that prolonged sitting still is a health risk at work that can cause problems that in the long run can lead to injuries and ill health. Most people have access to height-adjustable tables, good chairs and other ergonomic tools. Still, very few see physical activity as a risk that should be included in the systematic work environment work, says Erna Zelmin, Director General of the Swedish Work Environment Authority in a press release.

To investigate how employers handle risks of sitting still, the Swedish Work Environment Authority has recently inspected close to 1,400 workplaces in Sweden, including transport companies, dental clinics and office workplaces for IT consultants.

Sits still for 4-6 hours

The inspection shows that more than 600 workplaces have such major shortcomings that the Swedish Work Environment Authority now requires measures to improve the routines in work environment work. This is mainly due to the fact that employers have not investigated stress ergonomic risks in connection with sedentary work in a systematic way.

– It is important that employers organize the work so that employees have room for maneuver to vary working positions and work movements. High workload can, for example, cause the room for maneuver to shrink, says Erna Zelmin.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority states that in many workplaces, employees sit still for 4-6 hours a day. They also have a lack of knowledge about what can be done to pause and change the working position.

The inspection effort is part of an EU campaign during 2020-2022 to increase knowledge about stress injuries in working life.

Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by www.nyteknik.se.

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