You’ve likely seen a headline like this recently: “Sitting is the new smoking”. Study after study is showing that our sedentary lifestyles are causing all kinds of health problems (diabetes, cancer, heart disease to name a few), and even early death.
As physical therapists, we see yet another side effect of “sitting syndrome” – back and neck pain. If there wasn’t a car accident or other injury to bring on the pain, it’s often due to – you guessed it – sitting.
So what do you do now? If you have to work all day at a desk job, are you doomed? No way. The good news is that there are several ways to help combat the negative effects that our desk jobs have on our bodies, and they can be fit into a busy lifestyle. Here are just a few ideas:
- Get a wireless headset so you can walk around while talking on the phone
- Have walking meetings with your co-workers instead of sitting around a conference table
- Set reminders on you outlook calendar or phone to get up and move once every hour
- Go for a walk or to the gym over your lunch break
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park your car further away from the entrance
- Learn what good posture looks like, and check yours often
- Strengthen your core muscles to support your spine
- Assess your work station for ways to make it friendlier to your body
- Consider a convertible desk that allows you to sit or stand