Office Workers' Barking Dog Syndrome

MOVE OVER, carpal tunnel syndrome. Here come two more office-related ailments: foot swelling and back pain. Bulging feet mean there's less circulation to the brain--hence sluggish and inattentive employees. Back pain is the second cause of lost workdays, behind the common cold.

A new study says people who sit all day have twice the incidence of swelling feet as those who don't. Blood tends to collect in non-active feet. Poor circulation also is a factor in chairbound workers' back problems, along with bad posture during those prolonged sits.

These injuries aren't new. But this is the first time they have been measured and identified. And since some 70% of the U.S. workforce now toils in an office, the number of afflicted is probably larger than ever. The study was done by office-furniture supplier Haworth, with the help of Western Michigan University and the State University gf New York at Buffalo, observing Haworth employees for a year. The solution to these ills is pretty simple, though: Get up and move around.