Sitting has not been faring well in the research world. As studies continue to emerge revealing the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, tech professionals are standing up.
Is sitting really dangerous?
Conventional wisdom has said that sitting at a desk is the best approach, since it requires less energy than standing. However, those who work at computers are increasingly adopting the sit-to-stand or standing desk, spurred by headlines such as these:
· “Sitting will kill you, even if you exercise” – CNN
· “Women Who Sit Too Much Have Higher Breast Cancer Risk” – LiveScience
· “Sitting is the New Smoking: Ways a Sedentary Lifestyle is Killing You” – Huffington Post
Just how unhealthy is it? The risk for cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other serious illnesses rise in response to extended sitting, researchers say. In other words, sitting really is deadly. Plus, due to the increased pressure on the lumbar spine, hips, and knees in a reduced-circulation posture, it makes joint pain and back pain likelier.
Luckily, a standing desk is just one way to get more active and increase bloodflow to a healthier level at work. Other tactics include walking and the development of routines.
Firehouse Subs IT senior manager Jeremy Gibeault goes for several 20-minute walks each week. “I take a couple of technicians with me when they are available, and we chat about miscellaneous things,” he says. “I find that when we are away from our desks, ideas flow more freely and I get to know them on a more personal level.”
Developer Trevor Ewen believes that focusing on changing your habits is a strong way to approach sitting. Ewen actually combines a standing desk with getting up and active whenever possible. For instance, he schedules group activity across the office and takes a walk outside when he has a lengthy conference call.
Recognizing the value of improved fitness and reduced joint pain, Beck Tech Support has even built physical activity into their workplace operations. “We have work rules about what to do and when to do it,” says Jim Beck, the company’s owner. “[E]ach hour we have 10 minutes that must be done either standing, walking or physically assembling a system.”
If you suffer from back pain, you may know that a lumbar cushion can provide much-needed support. Similarly, if you are experiencing any type of joint pain, you may try the above approaches, but it’s not enough to deliver long-term comfort.
At Pain Stop Clinics, our goal and mission is to help you experience life again. Find out how.