People who have an office job spending on average 40 hours a week sitting in the same position on the same chair, it’s absolutely vital that the chair is providing your muscles, joints, without comprising your health.
Humans were never designed to sit down for long periods of time, many years ago we had to hunt for food, forge for crops and build our own homes. Times have changed, there are more people working in offices than in fields now so here are some tips to increase your productivity, reduce backpain and improve your lifestyle.
1. STANDING DESKS
A standing desk is a desk which allows you to work, whilst standing. Many of the versions in the modern age, provide you with the option to adjust so you can alternate between standing and sitting. At the very least, using this type of desk can partly negate the harmful effects of sitting too much.
According to Authority Nutrition, standing up can provide you with an option to burn extra calories, when compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing has been shown to burn over 170 additional calories. So in a 5 day week you could burn an extra 850 calories, from just standing.
Generally speaking, the more your blood sugar levels increase after meals, the worse it is for your health.
This is especially true for those with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. In a small study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. Both groups took the same amount of steps, indicating that the smaller spike was due to standing rather than additional physical movements around the office.
Another study involving 23 office workers found that alternating between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the workday reduced blood sugar spikes by 11.1% on average. The harmful effects of sitting after meals could help explain why excessive sedentary time is linked to a whopping 112% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
Back pain is one of the most common complaints of office workers who sit all day. To determine if standing desks could improve this, several studies have been done on employees with long-term back pain. Participants have reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks. Another study found that use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks. Additionally, removal of the sit-stand desks reversed some of those improvements within a 2-week period.
2. SET YOUR DESKTOP PROPERLY
If you want to keep a good posture, reduce shoulder and upper back stiffness, this tip could be one of the most important for you..
If you work with a computer or laptop, it’s possible the monitor or laptop is not high enough for you without tilting your head forward. You want the height of your monitor to be such that you can look straight ahead and not have to adjust your neck angle to view the screen.
If you keep tilting your head forward and slouch your shoulders, you will start to get a lot of tightness in your neck and upper back resulting in less mobility, meaning there is more chance of strains, breaks and pain.
3. HAVE A LUNCH BREAK
Whilst working in the corporate world, I fell into the trap that successful people don’t have lunch breaks and stay chained to their desk to get as much done as possible. How wrong I was, I started to get all sorts of pains all over my body and would rush to the coffee machine when I started to feel slightly tired.
As human beings, we are meant to move! So get up, stretch, take a walk, go to the gym in your lunch break. The most important fact here is to never sit still for extended periods of time, this will only negative effect your body and productivity in the future.
Studies suggest the best plan for prolonged spinal health is to consistently alter your work environment – move around, stand when possible, sit…just don’t sit in the same position for 8 straight hours!
Every 20 minutes, create some movement.
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Thanks Tom Collerill