Staying Healthy in the Call Center Means Changing Positions Frequently
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
While sitting in a contact center all day long doesn’t exactly sound like a dangerous job compared to, for example, unloading cargo in the docks or being a test pilot, the dangers in the contact center are very real, though more insidious.
Sitting all day long is indeed hazardous to human health. Periods of prolonged sitting are linked to obesity, increased risk for heart disease and diabetes and musculoskeletal problems like back pain. Of course, since working in a contact center isn’t exactly a high-energy job, how can companies protect their workers better from the health risks of a sedentary job?
For many contact centers, it’s all about the furniture design in the contact center. Set-ups designed to get people to move – printers on the other side of the office, for example, or flexible solutions that allow people to move back and forth between a team working module and an individual work station – can make a huge difference in call center workers’ health.
One newer alternative is workstations that allow people to stand. Health experts agree that alternating sitting and standing during the day (and even kneeling) can reverse some of the health risks of prolonged sitting.
According to a recent article in the ChicoER News (Chico, California), more businesses are discovering the benefits of work stations that are flexible enough to allow workers to switch from a sitting to a standing position (it usually involves an adjustable desk that can be raised on a vertical post).
“Ergonomists have long recommended breaking lengthy periods of sitting with periodic standing and movement,” wrote Ashley Gebb for the ChicoER News. “It's shown to boost comfort, energy, performance and reduce injury risk. More recent studies have concluded that excessive sitting can increase risks for coronary heart disease, kidney disease and other issues.”
Of course, standing all day long can have its own health risks, as waitresses and others who do it all day long find out, including varicose veins. For this reason, the adjustability factor of the office furniture a company chooses is critical. A high-quality workstation will allow users to adjust it regularly back and forth between different positions without any long-term loss of structural integrity.
So while the health risks in the call center may be understated, they are very real and present. Contact centers should choose furniture company partners that understand their desire to keep employees healthy and offer solutions accordingly.
Edited by Blaise McNamee