Stop Sitting and Typing! Stand Up at Your Desk and Talk
The conventional position for anyone working in an office building—or even those who work from home—is to sit at a desk, hunched over the keyboard and typing away, peering at a computer screen for hours and hours on end. This posture is not only very stagnant, but it can also lead to numerous ailments and other health issues after prolonged practice.
For years, and especially recently as computer usage has increased, there has not been a viable solution to rid us of our need to assume the same position when working. Instead, we’ve focused our collective energy to make accommodations to suit this seemingly unavoidable predicament. Ergonomic chairs, desks, and keyboards have been pushed upon the white-collar crowd, with resting pads, Swedish exercise balls for sitting, and other ineffective remedies following along. In fact, some companies hire professional ergonomists to help correct work environments. Still, nothing has been able to replace the general practice of sitting and typing.
The advent of dictation software has changed all that. Now, instead of having to sit in one spot, typing notes, letters, and other data into a computer (or typewriter if you can remember those), people who work in an office setting can be liberated from their chairs and keyboards while remaining as productive as ever. In fact, production level can even increase by choosing a posture that is less straining and reduces the stress of stationary work.
Countless studies have been conducted to chart the ill effects sitting and typing have on the human body. The ways in which the standard posture of office workers impacts overall health include:
- “Sitting Disease,” or the effect excessive sitting has on your body’s metabolic system
- Cardiovascular disease, brought about by sedentary lifestyles
- Obesity and the overall lack of exercise that results from sitting at a desk to work on a daily basis
The American Medical Association has urged employers to provide alternatives to sitting since 1999. The evidence of injury and long-term damage to a person’s health from sitting at work has led AMA board members such as Dr. Patrice Harris to push for a new standard in office work. Dr. Harris summed up her research findings by stating, “Prolonged sitting, particularly in work settings, can cause health problems, and encouraging workplaces to offer employees alternatives to sitting all day will help to create a healthier workforce.”
“Standing desks,” which are desks elevated to a height at which a person can operate a computer or work while standing, can be used for those wishing to transition from sitting on the job. But to accompany the move from the seated position to a healthier posture of standing are a slew of avenues related to dictation.
Dictation software can be implemented to allow workers the chance to free themselves from their desks and even traverse their office space while still operating their PC. Some of the more advanced dictation software can be used not only for dictating text, but to control a multitude of functions through a computer. Workers can easily orchestrate tasks like launching and closing applications through dictation software without needing to use their hands at all.
Dictation software, once only available to large firms because of steep costs, is now affordable and available to the average user. Dictation software, such as Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking, can also be used with different operating systems on a variety of platforms, further increasing accessibility and removing any excuse for remaining in a seated position to perform daily duties at work.
The health benefits of standing to work, coupled with the added advantage of being a more productive worker, makes choosing to stand and use dictation software a wise decision for employees and businesses trying to establish a healthy, efficient environment.