Your interests and goals naturally change over time, but how do you know if you’re ready to think about a change of job? Here at Godrej Interio are a few indicators that it might be time for you to make your move.
2. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 1
Technology has pervaded all areas of our lives and made it infinitely comfortable and convenient.
From grocery shopping to remotely controlling devices; from transferring money to experiencing
adventures virtually, it has brought everything within reach. At the same time, it has also contributed
to making our lifestyles more sedentary and less physically active.
Sedentary lifestyles come with a host of issues including propensity to gain weight, poor fitness,
reduced stamina levels during childhood, and raised cholesterol levels in adults. Among adults,
time spent in sedentary behaviour is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,
metabolic syndrome,Type 2 diabetes mellitus, mortality caused by cardiovascular disease, all-cause
mortality and depression. Studies have shown that sedentary behaviour also tends to negatively
impact self-esteem, life satisfaction, psychological well-being, social behaviour, professional
performance and cognitive functions, apart from affecting physical health.
To counter this, we may consciously choose to limit screen exposure and adopt a more physically
active lifestyle in our personal lives. But on the professional front as well, technology has transformed
work into a largely sedentary affair.
3. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 2
The pandemic has further exacerbated this since most
individuals have been working from home for extended
periods over the last year or so. All of these have brought
the importance of ergonomic work environments into
sharp focus as organizations strive towards making the
workplace more conducive.
Alternating postures while working is of utmost
importance. It reduces the impact of long working hours
on the physical health of a person. This, in turn, improves
productivity levels and the overall wellbeing of the
It is important to put in place various interventions that
limit sedentary behaviour and promote activities that
result in a fit and active lifestyle among employees. There
was a time when these could be considered as good-to-
adopt practices. However, with the present lifestyle that
involves limited or no activity, these measures need to
become essential organizational practices.
The Workspace and Ergonomic Cell at Godrej Interio
conducted a survey with over 500 individuals to
understand the challenges that they faced and the
strategies they adopted to deal with issues associated
with sitting for long hours at work.
We found correlations between static postures and
musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs); lack of awareness
among employees on what they could do differently
and limited or no infrastructure in offices to address
challenges associated with sedentary work behaviour.
The following sections explore these challenges and
recommend concerted actions that can be adopted by
companies and individuals to switch gears and liven up
Employees spend close to
ten hours on average at
work, of which a majority
of the time is spent seated
at desks, performing
light to intensive tasks
on screens with very few
breaks in between.
4. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 3
“Often, we are so engrossed in work that we are not even conscious of our
posture and the strain it puts on our body. There are times when we don’t
even take breaks that might affect the momentum. In such a case, a subtle
change in body posture which works wonders. Ergonomic furniture that
facilitates this shift is the need of the hour.” - Rajesh, Facility head of a PSU.
of being bound to the desk
5. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 4
Next-gen devices, sleek furniture and avant-garde office
spaces are the order of the day. Equally commonplace
are employees hunched up on chairs while straining their
eyes to look at screens.
Our research found that from the average ten hours
that an employee spent at work, over 64% of individuals
spent close to nine hours sitting either on one’s own
desk or in meeting or conference rooms. Among physical
complications, apart from the tendency to develop
obesity, cardiovascular disorders and cholesterol issues,
MSDs are a major risk associated with prolonged sitting.
The musculoskeletal health effects related to prolonged
static sitting are lower back pain and neck-shoulder
complaints. Sitting influences intervertebral spacing
within the spine. Lower back intervertebral disc pressures
rise significantly when seated as compared to standing
or walking. This increases the risk of pain, discomfort,
strains and injuries associated with postural stress
disorders, joint compression and soft tissue (muscles,
tendons and ligaments) injuries.An unfavourable working
posture can lead to increased muscle tension in the neck
Prolonged sitting can also weaken back muscles.
Those who sit for long periods of time tend to hunch
their shoulders and head forward, causing tight chest
muscles and weaker upper back muscles resulting in an
imbalance. Abdominal muscles and muscles of the lower
back are also prone to muscular imbalances.
Sitting comes with monotonous low energy consumption,
leading to low metabolic activity and reduced blood
circulation. Joint stiffness is another consequence of
static postures. All of these have resulted in increased
occurrence of MSDs among office-goers.
spend close to 9 hours sitting
Some of the
effects related to
prolonged sitting are:
▶ Lower back pain
▶ Postural stress disorder
▶ Joint compression
▶ Soft tissue injuries
▶ Muscular imbalances
▶ Reduced blood
6. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 5
Through this survey and several other studies in the past,
we have been able to establish the linkage between
MSDs and a largely sedentary lifestyle.
MSDs are also linked to many other factors such
as reduced concentration, disturbed sleep, lower
productivity, poor quality of life, low self-esteem and
overall poor satisfaction at work. Thus, MSDs also affect
31% of employees have taken leaves of between 1-3 days
within a span of a year due to pain and body stiffness
issues. It was observed that the number of leaves taken
by employees who didn’t change their postures and
worked largely from their desks was higher.
It is interesting to note that while employees themselves
do experience the discomfort of prolonged sitting, very
few consciously move about and change postures.
Ironically, 38% prefer to work from their desks.
The survey quizzed respondents on if they changed
postures during the workday and what their reasons for
that were. Back pain, discomfort and feeling fatigued
were major reasons for a change in posture. Only 2% of
those who stood up to change postures were aware of
the benefits of intermittent standing. What is alarming
is the fact that when we asked employees if they had
used any alternative techniques to reduce sitting time,
73% said that they had no clue about what they could
do differently. Only 27% had said that they had tried
standing as an alternative posture.
Since awareness levels among employees appear to
be on the lower side, strategies for managing pain too
are ad-hoc. Hot or cold compresses, massages and
medication were among the top remedies adopted by
said that they tried standing
as an alternative posture
said they kept their laptops
on storage cabinet at the
use hot desking area with
tall desks to stand and work
stand and work on their desk
by bending over it, which
can lead to MSDs
Being sedentary -
Slowing down productivity
7. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 6
The survey also found a strong connection between an
active day atwork and a reduced risk ofMSDs. Employees
who stayed active and adopted alternate postures while
working were less likely to develop MSDs compared to
those who largely worked from their desks. Switching
postures, therefore, is a great way to keep MSDs at bay.
Our study also revealed that offices too are ill-equipped
and often lack appropriate ergonomic furniture and
infrastructure that would enable its employees to switch
to alternate postures.
Among those who alternated postures, 57% said that
they kept their laptops on top of storage cabinets
available in the office as they stood and worked. This
posture is not ergonomically sound owing to differences
in individual and cabinet heights. Employees who are
taller tend to stoop to come to the level of the cabinet
top while those who are shorter end up straining their
upper limbs. About 27% of respondents said that
their offices had desking areas where tall desks
are available. Considering these desks are built to a
predetermined height, they are unlikely to be conducive
for all. About 10% of respondents said that they stood
at their workstations while placing their laptops on the
desk. In all of the above-mentioned situations, there is
a considerable strain on one or more areas across the
neck, shoulder, upper and lower backs and indeed the
entire skeletal system.
Given the ad-hoc nature of these arrangements, it is
unlikely that they will be able to work in those positions
for a long time which would mean going back to a sitting
MSDs, therefore, have become more systemic and
require concerted action at both the individual and
Reasons why employees
decide to stand up/change
posture after sitting for long
Back pain ......................... 20%
Felt uncomfortable .......... 15%
Got bored .......................... 14%
Felt fatigued ...................... 11%
To stretch the body ......... 10%
changing posture ............ 08%
For casual conversations
with colleagues ............... 08%
To attend meetings ......... 07%
For regular breaks ........... 05%
For health benefits
of standing ....................... 02%
Lack of proper infrastructure
hinders alternating postures
who often changed postures
while working did not have
who sat and worked claimed
to be free of MSDs
8. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 7
Sit-to-stand is a concept that promotes alternating between sitting and standing work positions
to ease the stress that comes with sedentary working styles. Having the ability to switch between
standing and sitting postures can help reduce the physical stress that the body has to endure. It
keeps one active at work and improves productivity throughout the day.
Sit-Stand desks come to the rescue here. These are desks with either manual or electric cranks that
can be used to adjust the height of the workstation depending on whether it is being used to sit
and work or for standing and working.
The use of sit-stand desks has been proven to improve productivity, concentration and enhance
creativity. The reason for this is that whilst you are standing, some of the body’s largest muscles are
working, and so it increases blood flow to the brain. Therefore, it improves the way we feel and the
way we work.
It’s time to Switch:
9. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 8
Through workplace audits that we conduct on a periodic
basis for various organizations, we have found that only
about 10% of organizations in India offer sit-stand desks.
Considering the direct linkage between MSDs and
sedentary lifestyle, it is pertinent that organizations invest
in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle at work but
also consciously include flexible and ergonomic furniture
that contribute to general health and well-being.
Institutionalizing an active work culture where employees
take routine breaks, have meetings over walks or while
standing, move around and keep changing postures
through the day, will go a long way in keeping challenges
associated with sedentary behaviour at bay.
▶ Make sure it’s ergonomically correct
▶ Set height slightly below elbow position when
shoulders are relaxed, upper arms are naturally by
the side and elbows are at 90- to 110-degree angles
▶ A footstool or box can be placed to keep one foot up
at all times. This avoids pain in the lower back and
reduces stress while standing
▶ Fatigue mats can be used when standing
▶ Standing time can be gradually increased
▶ One shouldn’t keep standing continuously at a
stretch. The rule is to stand in a good position for 15
minutes after every 45 minutes.
Some benefits of standing:
▶ Strengthens leg muscles
and improves balance
▶ Burns more calories than
▶ Is a great antidote to the
formation of blood clots
deep in the legs
▶ Reduces the risk of weight
gain and obesity
▶ Greatly reduces the
incidence of heart
▶ Lowers blood sugar levels,
especially after lunch
▶ Improves mood and
▶ Makes one feel more alert
▶ Improves productivity
Alternate your posture
Making the most of sit to
in India offer sit-stand desks
10. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 9
“The benefits of using a standing workstation are relatively lesser-known.
Those of us who used it felt more active and alert and could stand and work
for 4-5 hours in one go. I felt a general uplift in energy when standing and
working as compared to when I just used to sit. Ergonomic options that
make standing and working a breeze must definitely be made more widely
available.” - Dipika EHS Head of a Multinational company.
In conclusion, as organizations and employees move towards a more conscious and evolved new
normal way of working, the emphasis must be on healthier and active lifestyles aided by work
environments that nurture and promote movement and dynamic behaviour within the workspace
However, it is important to remember that too much of anything is not good - so while standing is a
great alternative to sitting, standing for extended periods comes with its own problems. Alternating
between postures is the ideal way to keep things going. After all, it is never too late to switch for
Livening things up
at the workplace
11. IT’S TIME TO SWITCH! 10
Godrej Interio (GI) is India’s premium furniture brand in both home and institutional segments with a
strong commitment to sustainability and centers of excellence in design, manufacturing and retail.
Led by the largest in-house design team in the country in the furniture category and awarded with
37 India Design Mark Awards till date, GI aims to transform spaces with its thoughtfully designed
furniture to create brighter homes and offices with products that have the highest design quotient
in aesthetics, functionality and technology. With consistent pursuit of excellence and a special focus
on health and ergonomics, GI’s product portfolio comprises a massive range.
Today, we design and manufacture furniture for office spaces, homes, educational institutes,
healthcare facilities, laboratories and more. Along with furniture we offer Audio Visual and 360
Degree Turnkey solutions. Each of our product range revolves around comfort and aesthetics while
delivering well-designed, fun and functional furniture solutions. Briefly, Godrej Interio transforms
dream spaces to life!
GI commitment to the environment has resulted in manufacturing products with lesser environment
footprint. Our pioneering efforts include designing less environment burdening products, usage of
eco-friendly materials and setting up less polluting and consuming processes, ensuring eco-friendly
packaging and transportation and finally the extended responsibility of recycling/reuse of used
furniture and scrap, thus ensuring a lifecycle approach to green.
Currently present in over 650 cities with 250 exclusive showrooms and 800 dealers, GI is one of the
largest divisions of Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., part of the Godrej Group, one of India’s largest
engineering and customer product groups.
This paper represents the opinions of the authors and is the product of professional research.
This report has been prepared for the exclusive use and benefit of the addressee(s) and solely for
the purpose for which it is provided. Unless we provide express prior written consent, no part of
this report should be reproduced or distributed. While every attempt is made to ensure that the
information contained in this document is true to its best. However, Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.,
its employees, representatives, affiliates or any of its divisions, etc. shall not be responsible for any
reliance made on this paper or for any errors / omissions in information obtained from the source
while preparing this paper.
About Godrej Interio