May 16, 2014
Being Active with a Desk Job

Sitting all day will kill you. I hate to be blunt (well, no I don’t) but it is the truth. In reality it is not the sitting that kills you, but is the lack of moving. The body is meant to move, and a lack of movement will lead to a shortened lifespan. Sitting just happens to be what we are doing when we are not moving. The same argument could be made for laying down, if laying was the predominant position in which we all worked. But again, sitting is what we tend to do so we will address it as the culprit.

More and more jobs these days require working on a computer. This requires much of the workforce to be a desk jockey (myself included.)  Here is where you can start to influence the amount of time you are sitting. Does your job require that you sit? Could you get a standing workstation? If so, you can guarantee that you will be using more muscles when compared to sitting. All else being equal, standing while you are at work will lead to a different outcome over the years than if you sit, and it will be a healthier outcome.

If you cannot get a standing workstation, do you have room to move around? You could easily set a timer or a calendar reminder to prompt you to get up, leave your office, and get in 1000 steps or so. Just like the above statement, moving a little will be more beneficial that not moving at all. Also, if you have room in your office, you could easily set a timer or reminder to get you doing a couple exercises. Imagine that every hour you get up and do 10 squats. If you work 40 hours a week you will amass 1600 extra squats per month. That is 1600 more squats than you would have done if you were just sitting there. In this sense you do not have to be limited to squats but can make up any quick exercise series you wish. If I were you, I would  at least throw in some squats and pushups.

Sitting for long periods of time will also wreak havoc on your posture. Sitting misaligns the joints and musculature and can lead to hip pain, back pain, neck pain, and all sorts of other pains. Not only that, if you are constantly typing on a keyboard your chest and shoulder muscles can start to mess with your shoulder joints. The resulting hunched over posture can be fixed if you address is soon enough. Regular exercise can help you open your chest up and get your hips and back muscles back to their appropriate length and tension.

If you are sitting a lot at work, it is worth getting up and moving throughout the day. Also, choose appropriate exercises during your workout to help get your body out of the sitting position. Perform your weight lifting exercises from a standing position whenever possible. You get to sit enough at work, why do so at the gym? Get up and go!

Written by Clark Masterson

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