Stand up for yourself

ImageWe all know by now that a sedentary lifestyle can be damaging, but not many know the details behind the fact. I alternate between an office and classroom setting all day, most days, so it can hardly be helped.

The Health Hazards of Sitting,” published on the Washington Post‘s website, offers a helpful and quick-to-read diagram explaining just what sitting does to your body. While some of their “studies” are pretty laugh-worthy (“people who watched the most TV in an 8.5-year study had a 61 percent greater risk of dying.” As in, apparently, if you don’t watch TV you won’t die), some of it is genuine and correct.

It offers some tips to counteract the symptoms, but I thought I’d share some of my own tricks as well.

Have the right furniture. Many companies have taken up serious ergonomics programs in recent years. In most cases, if you just ask, you can have your chair traded for an exercise ball or a more body-friendly chair at the least. One company I worked for also provided standing desks so you didn’t have to sit while at your computer (granted, some people may find that a bit extreme).

Stretch, stretch, stretch. You can really never stretch too much. Arms, legs, chest, neck — do it all. Mayo Clinic offers some good “office stretches” on their site.

Be social. Instead of emailing someone, walk over to their desk. Use breaks and other opportunities to get up and move around. Walking is really the best way to counteract the symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle.

Other than that, do all the other junk like eat well and exercise. That should help. 🙂