TIPS FOR SURVIVING CUBICLE CULTURE
If you’ve heard a co-worker say, “Someone has a case of the Mondays!” then you may be in an office environment where sitting is the predominant “activity.” Sitting for periods lasting longer than twenty minute is harmful to your health. Today, people sit at an alarmingly high rate. People work eight to nine hour days sitting at a desk, and of those hours, most people are able to count on one hand how many time they take a break from sitting. Take a break from sitting…what a conundrum!
As you may know, sitting has harmful effects to your body, and you might want to stand for this. Prolonged sitting has been linked to decreased metabolism, obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease (heart valve problems, atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, heart attack, and stroke), breast cancer, and colon cancer. If that doesn’t get your attention, then this next part will.
A study showed that men who reported more than 23 hours per week of sedentary activity have a 64% higher risk of dying from heart disease than men who reported 11 hours of sedentary activity. The inactivity of large muscle groups like the hamstrings, hip flexors, abdominals, and glutes contribute to adiposity (fat accumulation) and muscle degeneration.
If you are a desk jockey or have a job requiring you to sit, there is hope. Here are a few suggestions on how to get more movement into your day:
- Set your wearable device (smart watch, Fitbit, etc), phone, or computer to remind you to stand up throughout the day (at least once an hour)
- Spend your lunch break standing or going for a 10 minute walk
- Invest in a sit-to-stand desk like this one
- Take mini breaks and incorporate short “deskercises.” See this video for examples.
You may be thinking to yourself, “I already exercise regularly. I don’t have to do these extra things, right?” Unfortunately, the effects of prolonged sitting have been shown to occur even in individuals that have an exercise routine.
The evidence is clear. Take a stand! Get up and move! Your promotion may be in your grasp; because, if you do stand up, your productivity will increase (studies site around 15%). At worst, you’ll be much healthier and likely happier.