It’s not surprising that prolonged sitting or standing is bad for your health. If your physician hasn’t told you this then you’ve probably read it on the covers of health and fitness magazines. In fact, it’s become such a hot topic, the newest craze in fitness products isn’t the stair-climber or treadmill, but the “Fitbit.” This wearable device claims to improve your health by simply tracking your activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep.
Employer’s realize a healthy workforce equates to a better work environment and ultimately greater profits. There’s a significant movement to offer Health Enhancement Programs (HEPs), to lower health insurance costs and to help workers lead healthier lives. Employees are encouraged to be proactive with their health by getting physicals every year.
More progressive companies are even reconfiguring their offices to accommodate a less sedentary workspace. However, not all “so-called” healthy alternatives to our work space have proven to be true. Take, for example, the exercise ball as a replacement for an office chair. The theory was that sitting on a ball would improve core strength, thus improving posture, balance and stability. However, according to Ergonomics Plus, “Exercise balls should be left for … exercise! And not used for sitting at your desk all day. Use them for small periods of time as part of your fitness and exercise plan. A better solution is to select an ergonomic office chair, consider a sit-stand workstation, take stretch breaks throughout the day, and go for short walks to get your blood flowing.”
One thing is clear, it’s important to add movement into your work life. Fitness experts say that you should take 5-10 minutes every hour and devote this time to movement. Get up from your chair – go for a bottle of water or make tea, stop at the ladies room, or take a brief walk around the office – your eyes will thank you, you’ll be less likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive key stroking, and your body will benefit from the positive aspects of movement.
Want to learn more about the benefits of movement? Select from the sites below for more interesting ideas about movement for your work day.
Book: “Movement Matters,” by Katy Bowman
Giving practical advice for creating a movement-based lifestyle. You’re left with a deeper understanding of the challenges we face as a movement-starved culture and of the absolute joy and freedom that natural, nutritious movement can bring us.
Also see the “Sitting Solution” site article about the standing desk and a video on exercises you can do in your workspace.
Podcast from Katy Says…
Welcome to my mind! I’ve been using a blog as a sort of working notebook for over 8 years now and there are now over 300 articles on biomechanics, alignment, anatomy, and natural, nutritious movement.