Sitting: More Harm Than Good?

Sitting: More Harm Than Good?

Just when you thought that curling up on your couch, reading a book and sipping on some green tea was one of the least harmless activities you loved …you’re wrong. Your swanky workstation or wonderfully fuzzy couch is probably going to hurt you slowly.

All work and no walk

Studies have shown that more than one-half of an average person’s day is spent

sitting – whether it’s at work, watching television or just… sitting.

You may want to sit down for this… Or not.

People who sit too much are at an increased risk of facing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and shorter life spans. In addition, sitting for long hours at a stretch result in obesity, slow metabolism, compromised posture and spinal injuries. And if you think that an hour-long workout at the gym is going to completely negate those sedentary hours, it doesn’t. Not even if you push yourself to do those extra laps or another rep.

How to be on the move

However, since we can’t exactly quit our jobs to become full-time athletes, it’s best to look for the silver lining in the couch cushion and follow advice from experts. While some organizations around the world have evolved to including standing workstations or treadmill desks in their office furniture, here are a few tips to get the most out of any basic workspace.

  • Avoid escalators/elevators and other equipment that do the walking for you. Take the stairs, ramps or any other engineering wonder that will make you pant, at least a little.
  • Get up from your seat for regular short walks. You can even download apps that will time your walks and tell you when it’s appropriate to return to your seat.
  • Walk around with your cup of coffee during coffee breaks.
  • Have a huge conference room? Make it a point to walk and talk every time your phone rings.
  • Need something from your colleague? Don’t e-mail/iMessage them. Instead, walk over to their desks.
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Posture

Now that being on the move is covered, let’s focus on posture. Human beings are getting progressively weaker and much more reliant on the support of a chair. Sitting without back support is impossible for most of us and instead of sitting erect; we naturally slump and use the curvature of our spine to support ourselves.

good vs bad posture at work

Photo Credit: dreamclinic.com

Apart from bursts of activity during work hours, it’s equally important to sit in the right position while working, to avoid injuries and stress on the spine and neck. It’s absolutely necessary that the top of your screen should be level with your eyes, which means that your eyes are always looking down at a 10-degree angle. Your seat should be adjusted to ensure that your feet are flat on the floor, with knees equal to, or lower than your hips. Adjust the armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed. Take the effort to stretch your fingers few times a day. It’s important to ensure that your everyday office hours are interspersed with short bouts of activity. Just make sure that you manage to get your work done too!

Comment below with any additional helpful tips for everyone!

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