The Link between Arthritis and Prolonged Sitting in the Workplace

October 2021

Arthritis and prolonged sitting

The day-to-day demands of work can pose many challenges when you are living with arthritis. One of the biggest factors impacting your health when working from home or in the office is prolonged sitting.

Sitting for long hours in one position may affect brain function, reduce blood flow, lower metabolism and the body's ability to burn fat. This can increase our risk of chronic illness such as arthritis, neck pain, diabetes, heart disease and depression.

As October is National Safe Work Month, it is important to recognise the importance of sitting less and moving more to improve your overall health, and create safe and healthier workplaces for all.

Below are some tips for sitting less and moving more, thanks to the BeUpstanding research program currently underway at the University of Queensland. You can learn more about the BeUpstanding program here.

Tips for sitting less and moving more when working from home or in the office

The key is 'variety' in how often you sit and stand in the workplace. For desk-based jobs, it is recommended to break up your activities, stand up and move around every 30 minutes.

Here are some simple strategies you can follow:

  • Change your posture regularly - take active breaks e.g. stand up to make phone calls or stretch after sending an email.
  • Walk regularly - movement is key e.g. rather than a water bottle, keep a small glass of water at your work desk which you can refill by walking to the kitchen often.
  • Stand more - if working from home with your laptop, try switching between sitting at your work desk and standing at your kitchen bench.
  • Set a recurring alarm or meeting reminder in your calendar to stand or move every 30 minutes.

Read this free resource by BeUpstanding to learn more tips and tools for staying mobile when working from home or in the office.

Related articles:

National Safe Work Month
Managing Pain and Fatigue at Work
Exercises You Can Do at Work


Safe Work Australia: National Safe Work Month 
Safe Work Australia: Musculoskeletal Disorders
BeUpstanding: Tips & tools to sit less throughout the day while at home

Your gift will help fund self-management courses, education seminars and will provide individual support for people living with arthritis.