Take a moment to look down. If you’re like most people, you’ll have a solid view of a chair. And it’s also easy to predict that you’ve been sitting for a while. There’s no mystery in being able to assume that fact. The average person spends around twelve hours per day sitting. Add somewhere between six and nine hours sleep and it’s pretty easy to predict what people are doing at any given moment.
Now, consider just how much your parents walked every day. And your grandparents, great grandparents and so on. The reason for the difference is usually quite clear. The job market has become centered around computers. And computers are usually stationary terminals within a workplace.
However, modern problems often call for modern solutions. One of the easiest is to simply change one’s assumptions about the typical workday. Most people are so used to the idea of sitting at a desk for the entirety of a day that they stop questioning it. But there are quite a few ways to get around the problem and find some relief for a sore back and unused muscles.
Take a break to get a massage
People tend to think of massages as a rare treat. But while relaxing and enjoyable, it’s not just about the experience itself. A massage feels great, but it also helps with a number of medical issues.
Some people are lucky enough to have a great massage parlor or spa adjacent to their workplace. This makes it simple to schedule one during a lunch break. A nice stroll and a massage are a great way to help muscle fatigue and get some extra steps in.
But people who don’t work near a convenient location have other options. Some suppliers, like Earthlite, make it easy for both companies and individuals to buy products. Some people are given easy access to a massage. Others need to put some initial work into it. But it should be within reach of anyone who decides on that option.
The importance of standing
Most people are happy to have a massage suggested no matter what the reason. But at the same time, they might wonder why sitting is being treated as such a serious issue.
To understand that, one needs to really consider the implications of a fully sedentary lifestyle. Anyone who’s owned a dog knows how important it is to take them out for a walk on a regular basis. New dog owners tend to assume it’s a more utilitarian desire on their pet’s part. But they quickly note that dogs are just happier, healthier and more involved with the world when they take regular walks.
There are some psychological aspects to it. A dog communicates with other canines through scent while outside. But the larger reason simply comes down to the fact that dogs are a species which needs to walk for a significant amount of time every day. It’s not just that they like to see the sights. Rather, their health and circulatory system is dependent on that movement.
Now, one should consider his or her own family history. It quickly becomes apparent that humans are meant to be just as active. Humanity came about through hunting and gathering. And every system in our body is centered around an assumption of upright postures and movement. In fact, humans are even more dependent on it than canines. Too much sitting now appears to increase overall mortality by a similar extent as smoking or obesity.
A little help from friends
A massage is great for the problem of sore muscles from sitting. But the ideal is to have one worked in as a relief from getting more exercise. But one doesn’t have to become a runner or the like. Even a little extra walking can make a big difference.
It’s easy to slide back into old habits. That’s why friends can be an important resource when trying to get off one’s feet. It’s a good idea to have friends equally committed to health who can offer up encouragement. Even reminders to just get up to grab some water every now and then can help.
An easy but important change to office environments
However, one change, in particular, can help every single person at the office in a single move. This is done by introducing convertible or height adjusting standing desks. These pieces can function as a traditional desk. But they’re also easily leveraged upward. This essentially makes it easy to work on a computer while standing. One can even get some steps in while waiting for files to load, code to compile and so on.
This option is a bit more difficult because it requires the office’s corporation. But thankfully, as the New York Times recently highlighted, public awareness is on the rise. The risks of prolonged sitting aren’t a niche concern anymore. When one person in an office says that he’d like a standing desk one can assume there are dozens more who would want it as well.