Achy joints. Back pain. This may sound like the flu, but if you’re sitting for hours at work, it might be your desk job. As a slew of recent reports have shown, spending 8 to 11 hours a day sitting is literally killing us. Workspaces that aren’t custom fit cause workers to hunch and muscles to strain, leading to pain that radiates across the body. This is probably why back pain is more than twice as high in developed versus developing countries, where workers spend much more time on their feet. Even worse, so many hours spent sedentary changes blood flow and metabolism rates, which researchers think may lead in the long term to dangerous conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Even regular exercisers aren’t exempt from the dangers. While exercise is certainly good for you no matter what, the longer you sit, the less effective that post-work run will be. Put another, exercise isn’t a cure-all and it can’t undo long hours spent sitting.
Desk Job Woes and Prevention
As this op-ed entitled The Dangers of the Deskjob cogently argues, this is a serious problem not just for individuals but also for employers, as sick employees are less productive, less creative and less likely to tackle the big problems head-on, as they find themselves distracted by illness and pain. Sick workers also drive up healthcare premiums, and if employers have done nothing to help them make their office spaces more conducive to help, it can also drive up workers compensation claims, too.
But don’t despair just yet. As we’ve argued before, there are countless ways to incorporate movement in the office, from stretching and taking frequent breaks to switching to an adjustable sit stand desk. And hey, you could always try not working such long hours, right?
How do you incorporate movement into your everyday routine? Let us know in the blog comments below.