The nine months of pregnancy are often the most blissful moments for every woman and her family. This is the time when women need extra care to help the fetus inside her develop into a healthy baby.
With more women entering the workforce, many pregnant women are still hard at work in their offices during the early and mid stages of their pregnancy. It is a delicate balance for mothers-to-be to maintain a good level of physical activity while ensuring that they receive sufficient rest, in an office environment.
What challenges do women face while working during pregnancy? They could be as follows:
• Increase in stress level.
• Increase in back pain.
• Strain on legs.
• Decrease in energy levels.
That is why many women feel depleted both physically and mentally during this period of time.
Specific to the workplace, where many workers sit for prolonged periods of time to work on computer screens, mothers-to-be may encounter problems from sitting for too long during pregnancy.
This could lead to the following problems:
INCREASE THE RISK OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES
As per a research conducted by Dr Nithya Sukumar of Warwick Medical School, sitting down for a prolonged period of time may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, which may lead to health complications for both mother and baby at the time of delivery.
WEIGHT GAINSedentary and less physically active women are at high risk of a significant amount of weight gain during the first and second trimester of their pregnancy.
It may sound surprising, but depression in pregnancy is also linked to sitting down. This is why researchers encourage women to alternate sitting with standing to increase their physical activity during pregnancy.
There is a solution for every problem and for many working pregnant women this solution is the standing desk. Companies might want to consider this ergonomic solution to make working life healthier for their pregnant employees.
Let’s see how these desks could benefit women during their pregnancy.
Reduces the risk of Weight Gain
Research done at the Harvard Medical School showed that a person burns 30% fewer calories while sitting than standing. For a woman who is pregnant sitting at desk all day, this could be very beneficial.
Reduces Back Pain
Back pain is the biggest challenge for women who are pregnant sitting at desk all day. Several studies have revealed that there is a significant reduction in back pain after switching to standing desks on the workstations.
Increase energy levels
During pregnancy, a woman is sharing nutrients with her baby. As standing desks increase the metabolic rate, it could likewise increase the energy levels in pregnant women.
Set the Blood Sugar Levels to Normal
As the pregnant women are at risk of gestational diabetes, it is better to avoid sitting too much, and the use of standing desks can help them in doing so. Various studies have found that the use of standing desks can reduce blood sugar level by up to 43%.
So these are some significant problems of sitting for too long during pregnancy and some benefits of using standing desks during pregnancy. But, as with anything, mothers-to-be must balance between sitting and standing during pregnancy. Standing for a long time during pregnancy has its drawbacks too.
SLOWER BABY GROWTH
As per an article published in LiveScience, standing for extended hours during pregnancy may slow down the growth of the baby regarding the average weight and the size of the head.
INCREASE BLOOD PRESSURE
Studies have shown that standing for a long time during pregnancy may raise the blood pressure level. That’s why doctors also advice pregnant women to avoid carrying heavy loads or working on tasks that affect the blood pressure.
INDUCE PUBIC PAIN
Some women face the problem of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) during pregnancy. It induces the pain in pelvic area, majorly the pubic bone. Research shows that standing for a longer interval of time may worsen the situation of SPD and causes severe pubic pain.
INCREASE THE CHANCES OF PREMATURE BIRTH
As per research published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, it was stated that prolonged standing could increase the risks of premature birth and increase the chances of pre-natal deaths.
Is a standing desk good for pregnancy? The answer is multi-fold – standing helps women to reduce weight gain, the risk of gestational diabetes and the risk of back pain during pregnancy. However, standing for too long may impede the baby’s growth and induce pubic pain. Hence it advised to maintain a good balance between sitting and standing during pregnancy.