Over the past decade, an increasing percentage of people have transitioned into more sedentary work situations, sitting for up to 40 or 50 hours per week either at a desk or in front of a computer. With covid forcing many people to move from the workplace to work from home, in addition to several social restrictions, this has caused the fastest transformation and decrease in activity level in history. It is critical to make movement throughout the day a priority to avoid the many health risks that come from sitting for too long.
Sitting for long periods of time is bad for our bodies as we are designed to move on a regular basis throughout the day. Research shows that people who sit for long periods of time are linked to a higher rate of developing heart disease, having a stroke, getting diabetes, and having high blood pressure. Sitting also can cause neck and back pain which can lead to long-term degenerative joint disease.
It is important to get yourself moving as much as possible outside of a long workday to ensure you do not develop any health problems related to sitting too long. Some easy examples of this include a short active stretching routine first thing in the morning, getting away from your desk several times throughout the workday, and a walk on your lunch break. More examples include an exercise class after work in the evening and an after-work walk with your friends, partner, or dog. The key is to get into the routine of moving consistently throughout your workday as relying on only moving on the weekend is not enough.
The days are longer and the weather is nicer, so this is the perfect time of year to start moving more to develop lasting healthy habits. The more you move and exercise the better you will feel, the more energy you will have, and the healthier you will become.
About the Author:
Michael Staszak has been an outpatient orthopedic physical therapist for the past 27 years and is the owner of Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center in Eugene. He and his staff believe that the more people understand how their bodies work and learn proper body mechanics, the less likely they are to become injured again. With this commitment to patient education, Michael provides wellness articles and presentations for businesses and community members.