Sitting down for long periods of time is bad for your health.
We’re willing to bet that by now, you’ve heard some version of the above statement. In fact, we’ve talked about it here on The Active Times plenty of times in the past, and that’s because it’s a serious issue that’s taking a negative toll on the health and wellbeing of a large portion of the American population.
The biggest part of the problem seems to be that for many people, like those who work sedentary desk jobs, the answer isn’t necessarily as simple as exercising more. Research continues to find that even those who spend adequate amounts of time exercising outside of the prolonged periods spent sitting are still at risk.
So then what’s the solution? Well, first you can take simple steps to make sure that you’re moving as much as possible every day. And during the times when you are at your desk, sitting or standing, you can implement the proper posture tips depicted in the infographic compiled by Ergotron below.
Ergotron creates office accessories that help to promote “healthier, more productive environments for digital life and workstyles around the globe.”
In addition to the above infographic, their Senior Research Manager Carrie Schmitz offers the following three “healthy computer use” tips that every office worker should follow.
- Create a better posture. Arrange the computer display and keyboard to support the body’s neutral posture. This means placing your equipment at the correct level for a person’s height. The screen should be at eye level. The keyboard should be at elbow level and the seat height should be at knee level. In this neutral posture there is less structural strain on your body, resulting in lower energy expenditure and reduced fatigue.
- Incorporate movement into the computer routine. Using a sit-stand workstation is an excellent way to move effortlessly from one posture to another (which is called postural rotation). By bringing more movement into your computing, you stave off the build-up of toxic waste in the muscles which occurs when one remains still without moving (static loading) for long periods of time. These built-up toxins from staying still without moving limit the amount of oxygen circulating to cells and contribute to the damaging effects of inflammation.
- Take a “breather” regularly. Resting for one or two minutes after every 20 minutes at the computer is important. After two hours of computer work, take a longer break of at least 15 minutes to give the body the time it needs to rejuvenate. Working without a break will reduce productivity and over time the stress on mind and body can cause illness that cancel out any perceived gains from the longer energy output. Regular periods of rest can compensate for the negative effects of faulty posture and static loading; it’s vital to find a good work-life balance. Remember the three Bs: breath, break and blink.