Are you sitting down on the job?

What was once considered an insult is the standard, as more and more people are “sitting down on the job.” While there are many professions that allow workers to stand and move around, there are many others that involve the worker sitting at their computer for hours on end. This occurs week after week after week. Can this really be healthy? In a word, No.  We were designed to move. Being in any one position for extended periods, whether it is sitting, or standing can negatively affect your health. Those that sit all day tend to have poor posture, neck pain, upper back pain and headaches. Most people cannot quit their job so that they can avoid this all-day sitting, there are a few things they can do to help prevent some of the health issues listed above:

  1. Get up and walk around-this will get blood flowing to your arms and legs as well as loosen your joints.
  2. Stretch – Take time to stretch your neck from side to side and to extend backwards at the waist while standing.
  3. Become Ergonomic- Make sure your desk, chair and computer screen are at the proper level for you.  If you are unsure, there may be an ergonomic specialist at your facility.
  4. Be Aware-Make a conscious effort to maintain proper posture. Proper posture means sitting up straight, with shoulders back.
  5. Resistance Training- It is important to maintain proper muscle tone, especially because you aren’t using many of your muscles while sitting. I recommend lifting with weights, resistance bands or kettle bells. There are also some nice machines at your local gyms.
  6. Get on the ball- Trying using an exercise ball to sit on instead of and office chair. This will force you to have better posture and to help you work on your balance.
  7. Try standing- Many experts have recognized the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. This has sparked the popularity of standing workstations. These are a fantastic invention that allows you to change your position throughout the day.  Ask your employer if this is an option where you work.

Having sedentary job can be difficult at times.  Hopefully these hints will make it a little more tolerable.

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