If you are working an office job, you are probably spending most of your day sitting. We sit in the car on our way to work, we sit at work, sit when we drive back home, we sit during dinner, and most of our evenings are spent sitting on the couch/sofa. Research shows that average person spends 12 hours sitting every day. That is half of our day. If 8 hours are spent on sleeping, simple math shows that average person spends only 4 active hours a day. Shocking? It is.
Many modern diseases start with low or no activity. Heart diseases, diabetes, back pain, metabolism problems, muscle weakness, low energy, low concentration, and even early mortality.
We are living in the digital era, where comfort is the most important thing and if we don’t have to move to finish some stuff – well perfect. We have smart phones, smart computers, smart cars, and applications for our every need. Yes, application will count our steps and amount of water we drink, and even calories we burn, but application won’t make you actually start living healthier. You have to make yourself to do it.
We have to make small steps. If you actually have to sit most of your day, you might as well start sitting straight. Help your back and your spine as much as you can. The place where we spent most sitting hours is our office.
Here are some of the things you have to think about when creating a healthier sitting place at work:
- Chair on which you are sitting
Choose an ergonomic chair that will actually support your back and make you sit straight. This is a long-term investment and you don’t want to be cheap with this choice. Trust me, you will lose more money on therapy once your back will start to hurt.
- The way you are sitting
Sit ON the chair not half way laying on your desk. Keep your head straight, your legs and arms under, approximately 90 degrees angle, don’t keep your keyboard and mouse far from reach. We found this useful guide on How to Sit at Work If You Have Back Pain and it was worth sharing. Also, think about how are you sitting while driving, especially if you have a long drive to and from work. Adjust your car seat to support your back not to make you comfy, you are not in a recliner.
- Taking a break from sitting
I know, you have a deadline or a pile of documents you need to sort, but you can always squeeze a short break at least every hour and I don’t just mean washroom break. Take a coffee/tea break, or a short walk around the building, get fresh air and at the same time get your circulation working. Additional tip: Don’t surround yourself with food and drinks, keep them far, so you would have to walk and get them. Also, you can park further away and walk longer to your office and back.
- Exercises you can do in the office
These days, you can find many exercises that can help you with your posture and back pain and the best part is that you can do them anywhere, even at your desk, or close to it. Even stretching your arms and shoulders from time to time and doing few repetition of stand-ups on your chair can make a difference. But if you want to do a full office workout, here are some useful ideas on how to do it properly.
- Don’t ignore the pain
If you are having long-term back, shoulder, or neck pain, these tips may not be enough for you. If you have years of low activity and incorrect sitting behind you, you may need to seek professional help. Over the counter painkillers will not solve your problem. Proper workout and therapy can bring the best results. You may consider Chiropractic treatments. For many conditions, such as low back pain, chiropractic care is the primary method of treatment.
We hope these short tips were useful and will help you activate yourself. We don’t need those smart technologies to calculate our passive hours, we already know them. Don’t allow your day to turn into 12 hours of sitting. Use your office time for more than that. If you are one of people who only spends 4 active hours a day, join a gym or fitness center, make those active hours as efficient as possible. Your back and overall health will appreciate it.