By now, you’ve probably heard it—sitting is bad for you and can cause severe back pain.
Not only does sitting for extended lengths of time cause problems in your hips and back, research shows that it is slowly killing you. According to Nilofer Merchant, who presented a TED Talk on the subject in 2013, we are sitting 9.3 hours per day, over an hour and a half longer than the average person sleeps every night. This lack of physical activity can contribute to serious health problems, like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. You might think that exercise can counteract the ill effects of sitting on your rump all day, and to a certain extent, you might be right. But according to an article from April of last year in the New York Times, after a certain point, even physical activity can’t help.
That’s bad news for those of us who have jobs that require a butt in a chair.
It’s not impossible, though, to prevent your desk job from interfering with your good health. Here’s what you’ve got to do if sitting is causing you back pain.
Take a Break and Move!
It’s as simple as that. Just because you have to sit in order to get work done doesn’t mean that you can’t get up and move every once in a while.
When you have to sit down for a long time, it’s best to take frequent short breaks rather than longer breaks that you take less often. A good rule to follow is to stand up and walk around every half-hour for several minutes. If you can’t stand that frequently, take a break at least once every hour.
Ways to Sit Less
Once you get into the habit of standing up every hour or so, you won’t have to worry as much about the bad effects that sitting can have on your health. Here are some ideas to help you get up and move more while at work.
Drink More Water
The water cooler isn’t just a place for the latest gossip. Taking frequent trips to get a drink of water can help you remember to get up and move every hour. As an added bonus, if you drink more water, you’re going to have to answer nature’s call more frequently as well. If you can, try visiting a restroom that is on another floor or in a different room to get more movement out of your bathroom break.
Eat Lunch out of the Office
You might save money bringing your lunch to work every day, but you won’t get much exercise walking to the break room refrigerator.
The next time someone asks if you want to eat out for lunch, ask them if they’d like to walk there rather than drive.
Talk to Your Colleagues in Person
The internet has made things so convenient that we hardly have to talk to anyone face to face anymore. Instead of firing off an email to one of your colleagues, visit them at their desk. Not only will you get more steps in this way, your co-worker will probably remember what you have to say better than if they had gotten an email or text from you.
Got back pain from sitting too much? Set up an appointment with us today!