If you are like the majority of working Canadians, you wake up in the morning, sit down while you drink your coffee, sit down on the commute to work, sit down at your desk all day, come home and enjoy a wonderful sit down meal with your family, and then sit and rest on the couch as your catch up on your favourite TV shows. The average office worker sits for about 10 hours per day. Amongst all the sitting, did you find some time in your day to stand?
Medical researchers have long warned that prolonged sitting is dangerous. It is associated with a significantly higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression, as well as muscle and joint problems. The repetitive micro trauma of sitting all day, especially if you have poor posture, can contribute to a structural shift of your spine causing pain, abnormal wear and tear, and, most importantly, pressure on your nervous system- the master controller of your entire body. While getting up and stretching can help alleviate some of the pain associated with sitting, the only way to correct a structural shift of your spine is to get a neurostructural chiropractic adjustment.
Aside from getting adjusted to reduce some of the negative side effects of sitting, we should begin to stand, move and take breaks for at least 2 out of 8 hours at work and then slowly work up to spending at least half of your 8 hour shift standing or doing other light physical activity, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing your work while you’re not sitting. There are other ways to get work done!
Some simple ways to incorporate more standing and physical activity into your work day include:
- standing while talking on your cell phone
- walking over to a colleague’s desk instead of sending an email
- using the stairs instead of the elevator
- or walking with your colleagues during a meeting instead of sitting, a “walk and talk”
If you are having trouble remembering to incorporate more standing into your daily routine, you can put a pop up reminder on your computer to remind you to take a quick posture break every 20-30 minutes.