In today’s modern world many of us are working at computers and desks for the majority of our day. Sitting so much is not helpful for our fitness and well being. Some health experts are calling sitting “the new smoking” for all of the problems to our health that it can cause. Unfortunately our society has made most of us sedentary workers. Below are 5 things you can do to help mitigate some of the negative affects of sitting.
1. Move and change positions frequently: Our bodies were designed to move. Sitting in one position hour after hour becomes uncomfortable. Try never to sit consecutively for more than 15-20 minuted without moving. Get up and walk around. Roll your shoulders, shake out your hands, stretch your neck and back. If you need help remembering set a timer.
2. Set your work station up properly: If you work 40 hours a week or more at your desk you spend more time there than anywhere else except maybe your bed. Get your work station set up correctly. There are no perfect set ups, but some general guidelines include: Get a chair which can support your lumbar curve properly. Chair height should allow you to keep your feet flat on the floor and have your eyes line up with the top of your monitor. You should keyboard, mouse or write with your shoulders relaxed, upper arms at your side and elbow bent at about a right angle. Avoid staying in reached out positions with your arms. If you use the phone a lot keep it close and use a headset to avoid tilting your head all day. Also, think of comfort with temperature and glare from harsh lighting.
3. Add exercise to your life: If we sit all day at work, then go home and sit for dinner, or sit and read or watch television, our life has become extremely sedentary. It is important to put movement into our life. Simple things such as walking are enough to make a big difference. If you haven’t exercised much, don’t get caught up in all the details, just find some activity that you like that gets you moving for an extended time (30 minutes or more) and make it regular. If you need to take it slow to start that’s ok. Just get moving and slowly increase your time and intensity as you feel able.
4. Try to plan your workday: Although your job may be primarily sitting you probably have tasks that require you to get away from your desk and move. Going to meetings, running copies, meeting with people. If you do, try to organize these things so that you can alternate the sitting and standing tasks.