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Belleville office workers suffer from slouching and sitting too much

By Leila Nasr [1]

BELLEVILLE – Slouching and sitting for hours a day seem to be two of the most common issues for office workers, according to the presenter at an event held by Quinte Women in Business [2] on Tuesday.

Dana Goodfellow at Dinkel’s Restaurant before presenting about office health. Photo by Leila Nasr, QNet News

Dana Goodfellow, owner of massage-therapy clinic Quinte Mind and Body [3], said that most of the patients treated at her clinic are desk workers.

“It’s really those people that sit at a desk for eight hours plus a day or they’re statutory in some way in their work station. Whether you’re sitting at a home computer all day or you’re out standing on a floor all day because that’s what your job pertains to, there’s all these physical, mental ailments that can come along with that,” she said. “We get lost in a daily routine, we’re not paying attention to what our body is telling us often.”

As a massage therapist and acupuncturist, Goodfellow teaches people how to sit properly, how to be aware of office habits, such as statutory sitting positions and leaning, and meditating while at work to reduce stress levels.

Some women at the event said they will benefit from Goodfellow’s presentation because of their office health.

“I am a chronic sloucher. So I’m here to learn some tips and tricks from Dana on how to maybe work some things into my day that help me avoid that, or at least undo some damage,” says Melissa Haig, owner of Kwik Kopy Printing in Belleville. “I think [slouching] affects you both mentally and physically. I think you feel more tired if you’re slouching, and then also when you get home, you know things ache and you don’t feel so great, so I’d rather feel good when I get home.”

An example of slouching while doing work in front of a computer. Photo by Leila Nasr, QNet News

Haig says she sits about six hours a day, and finds that sitting for long periods is what affects her most while working. She uses a Fitbit to remind her that she needs to take some steps.

A piece of advice Haig has for others is to “pay attention to [your health]. Even set yourself a task reminder to just kind of do a check-in with yourself every couple of months, just so that it doesn’t get out of hand and either yourself or your staff aren’t developing something that’ll be hard to treat later on.”

Part-time consulting business owner Elisha Purchase said she uses a stand-up desk to help offset sitting down for long periods of time, but she says she still struggles with getting up and walking around.

“I know people say, you know, a few times a day make it a plan to stand up and do a lap, and I find that I don’t do that. I get into my work and I focused on that,” said Purchase. “I find that I snack a lot at work. Not necessarily unhealthy snacking, but I find that I eat a lot during the day, which sometimes is good because it’s small, you know, healthy portions all day long. But sometimes in an office environment people bring in junk and you find that it’s like forced on you.”

If there’s one thing Goodfellow wants people to take away from the information she has to offer it’s an “awareness of their body. [To] go back to their work station tomorrow and really say ‘ok, how do I feel sitting in my desk? How do I feel about this project that I’m doing, mentally? How do I feel when I’m done at the end of my work day. Am I emotionally and mentally exhausted? Or am I energized and feel great about what I did today?'”