Energy company combats sitting disease by urging employees to get fit from their desks

Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Fit From Your Desk Program = 80% Workers Comp Reduction


Fit From Your Desk Program = 80% Workers Comp Reduction

When you think of hazardous jobs, you think of firefighters, police officers or linemen—not employees who sit at a desk.

But, sitting for prolonged periods of time is hazardous! Per the American Medical Association (AMA) sitting at a desk for hours at a time has been linked to an increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

That’s why PG&E launched its Fit From Your Desk program.

PG&E’s Fit From Your Desk program cut workers’ comp musculoskeletal injuries (sprains/strains) at its San Jose Contact Center by 80 percent in 2016.

 I’d like to introduce you to Nash Alhomady, a Solar customer service representative, who is at his desk on average seven hours a day supporting PG&E customers.

Nash says he’d leave the end of the day with stiff joints and feeling lethargic. But now he’s found the answer to a comfortable and healthy workday with PG&E’s Fit From Your Desk program.

“I have more energy and feel more optimistic now,” says Nash. “Once I start taking calls at my desk, I get into my flow, and I’m able to start doing different kinds of exercises. Some days I will do calf raises and lunges, other days I do curls and two-way shoulder presses.”

Nash says he can exercise and stretch while talking customers without interfering with the call because the exercises and stretches are simple and don’t require him to break a sweat.

And Nash isn’t alone; employees at the San Jose Contact Center do group exercises.

It’s called Power Hour. One random hour during the day, a bell will chime and almost like synchronized swimmers more than a hundred employees will rise out of their chair, raise their sit-and-stand desk and move from a sitting position to a standing one.

PG&E’s Fit From Your Desk program has a twofold purpose—proactive and preventive.

Preventive as it encourages employees to stand and stretch and to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Proactive as employees have an increased awareness of what a musculoskeletal injury (sprains/strains) feels like and are encouraged with PG&E’s Speak Up culture to report injuries as soon as they notice them rather than wait till the injury worsens.

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