Sitting is the new smoking

Sitting is the new smoking

By Tessa Marsh, Candi Macknamara and Courtney Chick

Do you work more than 5 hours a day without moving? Sitting for prolonged time can create poor posture, headaches, back and neck stiffness and fatigue. Sitting is now considered a merging public health concern with increased risk of adverse health conditions.

Benefits of a ‘standing desk’

A standing desk might be right for you. Standing desks are becoming more popular as daily work hours increase.

A standing desk may be useful for people with conditions such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigue

The benefits of a standing desk are:

  • Boosted productivity
  • Decreased joint stiffness
  • Improved attention and cognitive function
  • Decreased muscle tension and pain

However, standing all day can also have adverse effects. A standing-only desk may cause:

  • Increased muscle fatigue
  • Further exacerbating pre-existing conditions

Benefits of a ‘sit-stand desk’

A sit-stand desk is the most beneficial way to decrease the negative health effects of sitting and gain the positive effects of standing. A sit-stand desk allows you to move throughout the day from a seated position to a standing position as needed. A sit-stand desk can create a more mobile work environment and healthier musculoskeletal system.

Low cost ways to curb the negative effects of sitting

  • Take a walk around the block for 10-15 minutes during your lunchbreak
  • Set a ‘stretch timer’ to remind you to stand and stretch for 5 minutes each hour during your work day
  • Improve your sitting posture by attending a Myotherapy treatment
  • Try using a yoga ball / bounce ball in your home office instead of regular chair
  • Learn to sit better at your desk with this article

Whatever your situation, there are a number of ways to fight the sitting epidemic and get fit during your workday.

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