What A Way To Make A Living

Working’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’… It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it! On top of it all, sedentary work can also take a physical toll on your body. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, work-related musculoskeletal problems—from muscle strains to carpal tunnel syndrome—made up 32% of all worker injury and illness cases in 2014. Although many of those injuries were suffered by people working strenuous physical jobs, sitting hunched over a computer, staring at screens all day, typing, and sitting improperly can wreak havoc on the body.

The blame for these injuries lies in two places, firstly the amount of time you are sitting working at your desk, secondly is your office ergonomics, meaning the set up of your desk, chair, and workstation.


Risks


Michael Fredericson, sports medicine physiatrist at Stanford Health Care says, “The issue that we’re really up against is that we’re not made to sit—certainly not for extended periods of time… you tend to hunch forward, and your neck protrudes, and there’s eye strain. It’s stress that goes through your whole body.”

“We are made to move, not sit at a desk 12 hours a day,” says Joan Price, author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book. “As ergonomic as your desk or chair may be, sitting produces back pains, headaches, and listlessness. You become less productive.” It is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week, however most Americans aren’t coming close to achieving that goal. Research has shown that moving your body at least every half an hour to an hour could help to limit the harmful effects of desk jobs and other sedentary lifestyles.

A sedentary lifestyle clearly isn’t ideal, prolonged sitting on a daily basis can lead to: ​

  • Cardiovascular Health Risks

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Weight gain

  • Metabolic Syndrome

  • Poor Mental Health

  • Back/neck pain*

  • Muscle Degeneration *

  • Osteoporosis*

  • Mortality

Preventative Measures

  • Activities that can help to increase your movement while working a sedentary job include:

  • Stand up and have a quick break from your desk every 30 minutes

  • Stand/walk around when taking phone calls

  • Go for a walking meeting with colleagues

  • Use a small glass for water, increasing the amount of times you walk to fill it up

  • If you work at a desk, try a standing desk or move to a higher surface if available

  • Walk to the furthest toilets or water fountain each time you get up

  • Take the stairs when possible

  • Stand at the back of the room for presentations

  • Eat lunch away from your desk

If you can’t always get away from your desk, try these simple ways to keep some movement going every hour:

  • Stretch at your desk

  • Tap your feet

  • Fidget

  • Straighten your back

  • Shrug your shoulders

  • Circle your ankles and wrists

  • Stretch your arms out

  • Tap your fingers

  • Tilt your pelvis backwards and forwards

  • Treatment

Unfortunately, if you are already suffering from pain due to a sedentary lifestyle, you’re not alone. A study conducted by Qatar University aimed at identifying the relationship between a sedentary lifestyle and back pain over 61% of sedentary participants experienced some form of notable back pain. In a recent survey, 55% of Sonic Relief™ users stated that they use their Sonic Relief device to aid neck, shoulder, and back pain.