Research has warned time and time again that “sitting disease” is real. But if you’re sitting all day at work, you should get up every 30 minutes and move to cut your risk of many health issues, a new study is advising.
At Health Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Center Edison, NJ, we’re talking about the dangers of too much sitting.
These days, a most of the the population works office jobs, which means sitting at a desk on a computer for most of each shift. Add in the commute to and from work, “sitting down” for dinner and then possibly some TV watching afterward, and you’ve got a typical day for most people in which the majority of hours are spent sitting.
Recent research has linked this excessive sitting with a variety of health issues, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, and it has also been associated with increased blood pressure and blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
More immediately, though, many people who spend most of their days sitting may notice issues with their back. Sitting in a chair for prolonged periods of time can lead to the development of low back pain and can worsen any existing back problems.
The main reason is that sitting in an office chair is a static posture that puts stress on the back, shoulders, arms and legs, and more than anything else, it increases pressure on the spinal discs of the lower back, which can result in pain. When you add bad posture and craning or slouching over the desk as the tendency often becomes after sitting for a while—the risk for back problems is even greater.
Here are plenty of ways you can be more active in the workplace. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Walk or ride at least part of the way to work
If you can bike or walk (or even run) to work, this
can be an excellent way to fit more activity into your day – and you’ll arrive
feeling fresh and energised, with a clear mind.
Of course, not everyone lives close enough for this to be a realistic option, but you can still find ways to make at least part of your trip more active. Get the train part of the way and ride the rest, get off the tram a few stops early and walk, or park your car a away. Try a few different things and see what works for you.
Volunteer for the coffee run
Go out and get your coffee, tea or smoothie instead
of letting someone else pick one up for you. Even better, you could make it a
challenge to try a new place each day for a week, instead of always going for
the closest option. Taking a stroll with some colleagues is a quick and easy
way to relax, socialise and get in some more physical activity.
Have standing or walking meetings
We all have those meetings that stretch on for an
hour, but could really be accomplished in 15 minutes. Try organising a standing
meeting – research shows this can be a good way to increase efficiency, making
sure things don’t drag on unnecessarily, as well as getting you out of your
Try a standing desk
If it’s possible in your office, standing up to
work can be a great choice. Standing uses more muscles and burns more calories
than sitting – and it can be great for your back and posture.
Walk instead of calling or emailing
Use every opportunity you have to get up from your
desk. Pretend it’s the ‘90s – instead of emailing or instant-messaging your
colleague across the room, walk over to their desk and have a chat with them
face to face. The steps add up, and it gives you the extra benefit of having
some social interaction.
Take break to move
Set a reminder every 20-30 minutes during your work day to stand up and walk around;
For more information or for any aches or pains you
may be experiencing, contact Health Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
in Edison, NJ. You can also call us at 732- 494-5999
to schedule an appointment.