According to Kris Kresser (Let’s take back your health) for most of our evolutionary history, people had to exert themselves usually in strenuous ways to get food. Naturally, we spent most of our time outdoors in the sun, walking, hunting, gathering, and performing various other physically-oriented tasks. There were no scheduled workouts or gym memberships. We had enough exercise just living our lives.
Now, there is a new disease called sitting disease. According to USA News, 86% of American workers have a job that requires sitting most of the day. Couple that with more sitting on the couch when you get home and most people spend about 13 hours a day sitting. We also sleep for about 6 to 7 hours a night and sit while commuting.
In total, we are only up for a few hours a day. Getting ready for work, cooking, cleaning, walking to and from the car to get into and out of the house, checking the mail, running after children, doing laundry and other chores and other short distance activities must make up the few hours we are “moving around”.
According to Healthline, doing a lot of sitting increases your risk of:
- Weak legs and muscles
- Increased weight
- Poor posture
- Tight hips
- Premature degeneration of your spine
- Anxiety and depression
- Increased cancer risk
- Heart disease
- Increased risk for diabetes
- Varicose veins
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots)
- Stiff neck and shoulders
- If you have a job where you must sit all day, find creative ways so that you can move around while working. As web developers, we try to incorporate movement and breaks into our work day.
Here are some of the things we do to stay healthy at work:
- Take a walk on breaks and at lunchtime
- Use stairs instead of the elevator
- Use a high low desk so that you can stand and sit as needed
- Use a desk stepper or treadmill so that you can exercise and type at the same time
- Kettlebell arm, squat and theraband exercises while you wait for a file or image to download or a video to render
- Vari slide exercises while you wait for files to transfer or download
- Have a headset so you can walk and talk
- Wall ball manual therapy work to release sore muscles and trigger points
- Just because your type of job is usually known as sedentary doesn’t mean it has to be! You can move at work to avoid health problems down the road. Earning money now just to have to use it to pay for health problems later can be avoided if you use a little creativity to find ways to move at work throughout the day.
* Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.