You have probably seen this scary infographic at some point in recent history. It depicts the extreme toll on our health taken by sitting all day. This is true even for regular exercisers. The ugliest statistic: Sitting six or more hours per day increases your risk of dying within 15 years by 40%.
I sit. I get paid to sit. I sit at a desk or computer when I am not sitting in meetings. I sit at lunch. I sit in my car. I sit in my comfy chair in the evenings. I knit. Therefore… I sit.
Yes, I exercise. But apparently that doesn’t count because … I sit. A lot.
I shared that I have been having some low back problems. I don’t believe these issues are as related to doing mountain climbers and burpees in boot camp as they are to sitting. Sitting shortens your hamstrings, freezes up your hip flexers, and does who knows what else to other muscles involved in pelvic stability and core strength. Sitting is bad sh#t, people.
I’ve been thinking about how I can sit less, move more, and try to counteract 20 years or more of being a desk potato. Here are some ideas. I’d love to hear yours, too.
1. Arrange your space so you can work standing up. In my office, I have an adjustable height computer table that I can raise to standing height by pushing a button. I try, I really try, to stand at the computer for part of every day. On a good day, I do all my computer work standing, but that doesn’t happen often enough.
2. I also have a lectern that allows me to read standing up. I don’t do this very frequently, because, well, I’m lazy. But I can and I should. My wireless headset also allows me to walk around my office when I’m on the phone. Another thing I don’t do enough.
3. A friend loaned me something called a dyna disc to sit on while at my desk. It mimics the act of sitting on a Swiss Ball, which is not really feasible in an office environment (as Dwight Shrute learned when he attempted it) and forces you to keep your core stable. It really helps with my back pain and I do use this almost all day.
4. Stretch. I take a lot of stretch breaks and it really does make me feel better. Yoga helps, too.
5. Take walk breaks. Duh. But do I do this? Not so much.
Any other ideas??
Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone.