Designers: 10 reasons sitting is bad for your clients

Are the offices you design bad for health?

Think about it. You’re designing spaces for people to sit down and work all day, every day. But growing evidence suggests too much sitting is terrible for health. Some scientists even call sitting the new smoking.


Today’s article uncovers 10 reasons why sitting is bad for health.

Now – don’t get me wrong. People still need to sit down to work (and obviously we want to keep selling chairs!). But it’s important to understand that prolonged sitting has risks.

Let’s take a look.


Sitting feels so good. How can it be bad?

The simple fact is, our body is designed for movement not stillness.

Movement facilitates blood flow and the circulation of nutrients around the body. Stillness stops it.

When you sit still for prolonged periods you restrict blood flow and the amount of oxygen to your lungs. This can reduce your ability to concentrate, cause numbness and swelling, put strain on your muscles and joints, and eventually impact your health and wellbeing.

So here’s the list.


10 bad things that can happen if you sit too much


#1 Prolonged sitting strains your neck, shoulders and back

If most of your sitting occurs at a desk at work, then you probably crane your neck forward toward your screen or keyboard. This can strain the cervical vertebrae and lead to permanent imbalances.

Slumping forward also overextends your shoulder and back muscles. And if you’re holding that forward slump position for a long time, you can cause yourself some damage.

#2 Prolonged sitting reduces the flexibility of your spine

When you move, soft discs between vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. But when you sit for a long time, discs are squashed unevenly. Collagen hardens around tendons and ligaments making your spine less flexible.

#3 Too much sitting can lead to disc damage

The longer and more often you sit, the more risk you have for damage to your lumbar discs. Too much sitting stresses the lumbar spine and affects its ability to carry the bulk of the body’s weight.

#4 Prolonged sitting increases your heart disease risk

Prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. People with a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to have cardiovascular disease than those with a more active lifestyle.

#5 Sitting grows your diabetes risk

Sitting throughout most of the day could increase your risk for diabetes, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

#6 Sitting gives you tight hips

Flexible hips help keep you balanced which is especially important as you get older (to stop you from falling). When you sit all the time you don’t extend your hip flexor muscles so they become short and tight. This limits the muscle’s range of motion and your stride length – and can get you into trouble when you’re older.

#7 Prolonged sitting leads to poor circulation

Sitting for long periods of time slows blood circulation, which causes fluid to pool in your legs. This can lead to swollen ankles, varicose veins, or even blood clots.

#8 Sitting makes your bottom bigger!

Putting pressure on certain body parts (i.e., your bottom) can produce up to 50 percent more fat than usual. And when you’re sitting you’re burning fewer calories.

#9 Too much sitting is bad for your mortality

Studies have found that sitting for six or more hours a day can be linked with a higher risk of death.

#10 Sitting slows your brain

Your moving muscles pump fresh blood and oxygen through your brain. When you sit for a long time, not as much blood and oxygen flows. Everything slows, including brain function. So the longer you sit for, the less productive you’ll be.

That’s quite a list, isn’t it? Too much sitting is really not good for your body or your mind.

Ready to stand up?


Design an active office space

When you next receive a client’s brief make sure you discuss what you can do to encourage activity. A healthy work environment can increase productivity and innovation, too.

So think about how to encourage people to move more often. To get up out of their chair, to stretch their legs, to get their blood pumping. To feel a whole lot better.

People’s health is in your hands.

Want to find out what furniture options are available to break up sitting time? Give us a call on 07 855 9932 or email

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