I am currently seeing a Osteopath on a weekly basis, which is down to a surfing injury I picked up a few weeks back – it’s not too bad, but needs some attention from a professional. Being my typical inquisitive self, I have been quizzing the Osteopath on all sorts of things, from his views on Glucosamine Sulphate vs Glucosamine HCL, sport shops putting you on a treadmill for 30 seconds to determine what type of running shoe you should use to ‘fix’ your running style (that probably doesn’t need ‘fixing’), to the difference between an Osteopath, Physiotherapist and Chiropractor.
Being based in the CBD, what has come up again and again in my appointments with the Osteopath is his commentary on the crazy majority percentage of patients he sees with injuries ultimately due to sitting a desk for a lot of their working day. With my neck tilted at a 45 degree angle at this moment in time, writing this blog post on my small macbook Air, I feel pretty guilty!
The reality is…
Humans are not designed nor evolved to sit slouched, shoulders forward, body locked apart from the small movement of the fingers and elbows, and look at a computer screen for hours on end – no crap it isn’t good for you!
How bad is sitting for a long time?
Sit in a chair for more than 6 hours a day? Well, here are a few stats that I got from a LifeHacker post in 2012: “Your risk of heart disease has increased by up to 64%. You’re shaving off seven years of quality life. You’re also more at risk for certain types of cancer. Simply put, sitting is killing you.”
This great short animation I found on TED Ed, explains things in a little more detail and is well worth the watch. On a side note, the animation is pretty cool.
Effects of Sitting Infographic – A few Facts (Infographic)
What can you do to counteract the effects of sitting?
The big positive, is that we can easily do something about it all.
- Stand up at work. Get a vari-desk, I have started using one and they really are brilliant. When I use it, I feel substantially more energised and significantly less tight and tense in my neck. More info on Vari-desks on Amazon here.
- Be conscious of how much time you are spending being continually sat down. Move around every 30 minutes or so, get up, go for a quick walk.
- Exercise during the day – I often go for a run or gym at lunch. Not only does it make me feel more energised and focused in the afternoon, it means I am moving around and breaking the ‘must sit rigid and it’s killing me’ routine.
- Ultimately, sit less and stand more.