Deep vein thrombosis is something we associate with flying on long-haul flights. However the chance of getting a blood clot doesn't mean you have to be up in the air. This can happen while sitting for a prolonged time, for example at your desk. So when is too long to be sitting slaving away at the office?
The deputy of director of the Medical research institute in Wellington, Braithwaite has observed blood clotting and Deep Vein Thrombosis concerning office workers.
We came across a number of people who had no good reason for developing a clot other than sitting down for a long time – for eight to 10 hours at a desk for five days a week.
Braithwaite decided to investigate the health and safety issues of sitting at a desk all day. As this is an everyday activity and we feel obliged to be sitting at our desk all day in the office to get our job done. She performed a study including 200 people who had blood clots or Deep Vein thrombosis comparing them to those who didn't.
She found some alarming facts and saw those who sit down for 20 hours a day at their desk, including around two hours of getting up and moving, still had an increased change by 18% of developing blood clots.
The big question then remains when is too long to be sitting at your desk. Braithwaite claims that blood flow in the legs is significantly decreased only after thirty minutes. And unfortunately even those standing desks won't have much help, as to increase blood flow you need t be moving as well rather than static. So she advises similar tips as to travel, try to get up and move every 30-60 minutes around the office. But this may not work for some people as it could decrease productivity. At the research centre, the developers have created a footstool which aids blood flow.
Other things people can do in a work environment include getting the desk that is furthest away from the photocopier, printer or kitchen.