This is a hazard rarely talked about. Most people don’t think about sedentary jobs when thinking about jobs on site. That’s mostly for office jobs, right? No, actually there are many jobs on site that could have a worker sitting for 8 hours or more, such as crane operators, heavy equipment operators and possibly welders. Sitting for lengthy periods of time has been linked to some pretty serious health problems. Diabetes, heart problems and poor mental health are the main ones that pop up when discussing a sedentary work environment. There are also the less serious ailments, back aches, neck aches, restless leg syndrome and varicose veins. Unlike office workers that may have the choice to use a stand up desk or a balance ball, when operating a crane… You don’t have that option. So, what do you do when your job keeps you seated for hours on end?
If you work a day or two a year where you are seated the whole shift, you probably have nothing to worry about. It’s when you sit in one spot in the morning, then you have your breaks and eat your lunch in the same spot, only getting up for bathroom breaks. Your blood is not flowing as it should, hence the medical hazards. If you are stuck in the same spot all shift, make sure to get up every 30 minutes and get a good stretch in and get that blood pumping. Now, I know if you’re in the middle of a big lift or a root on a huge piece of pipe, you’re not going to halt everything to stretch your legs. So, do so when it’s reasonably possible. Also, keep active outside of work to try and counteract the effects of sitting for so long. Go for walks, hit the gym or play some sports. Do whatever you’d like, just keep moving.