Is your desk job killing you? The real dangers of sitting for long periods of time.
It was a sunny Wednesday morning as I scanned the sea of cubicles at my office. Lumpy coworkers shuffled to vending machines to retrieve nutritionally barron snacks like floundering seals catching fish…only fish are super healthy and bullshit cardboard vending machine snacks are not. Someone brought in glycemic sugar grenades disguised as donuts. How they got past security I’ll never know. People scurried to get the good ones first in a possible attempt to raise their hypertension and BMI even further, as if to taunt the limits of health and sanity in one blow. Barbara from accounts receivable, pulled a hamstring and later complained of being out of breath after tying to beat Bob from accounting to the bear claw table. I tried to make myself small in my generically corporate patterned cubicle, knowing that an impending sugar crash was about to envelope most of the office in a predictable mood swing, leaving scattered adults in it’s wake whining like toddlers in need of a nap. This is the unfortunate premature death sentence that is life working as a cubicle jockey in corporate america.
Ok, I may be over dramatizing (ever so slightly) to prove a point, and that point is that sitting on your ass while your brain may or may not be working is not how human beings were designed to live. It’s not healthy, it’s not right, and dam it I’m not going to take it anymore! What’s that? Keep my voice down? People are trying to work? Sorry about that. I tend to get a little carried away sometimes.
I guess that the truth is that at some point we’ve all gotta do what we’ve gotta to do to get to the next phase of our financial lives. That doesn’t mean your body has to age like a K9 (7 years for every 1. See what I did there? It’s got layers.) though. So with that in mind here is your survival kit until you get paroled from the corporate prison that is working in a 6×6 joyless cubicle of sedentary capitalism. Personally I’ve been planning a prison escape for some time now. Don’t tell anybody though. I’ve paid off the right guards, the tunnels have been dug; I even have a deal with an inmate in the workshop to get me a life raft for the big day. I just have to preserve my mortal coil until then, and you do too. I’ll be honest, you’re not going to like some of these options but here they are just the same.
1) Can you volunteer for job roles that require/allow you to walk more? Does you’re department have a rover or someone who delivers things, talks to people in person, or otherwise just walks occasionally? Could that person be you with a little positioning.
2) Can you order a walking/stand up desk? You know all those muscles that aren’t engaged when you’re sitting on your butt? They’re the ones that engage when you’re standing to keep you standing. A stand up desk can help to make them feel less neglected.
3) Can you get off your ass and stretch during the day(I just do the runners stretch at my cube. Most people can’t even tell I’m doing it which cuts down on answering questions)? Your muscles shorten and tighten from sitting. Specifically, you’re hip flexors and your lower back muscles, which is likely why you have low back pain; the short muscles work together to tilt your pelvis until it put pressure on your lower spinal vertebrae.
4) Can you exercise before, after, or during work? Can that exercise be one, both, or a combination of 6&7 below? Yes I’m talking about at lunch. Yes I said at lunch! Why must I repeat myself.
5) Can you stop eating Halloween candy and liquefied birthday cakes from starbucks, like it’s a meal just because someone brought it into the office?
6) Exercise (cardio).
7) Strengthen your muscles (Weights and such)
8) Diet and Nutrition (Vegetables and protein). Now that you’ve taken out the bad elements with step 5, can you add in nutrients, minerals, vitamines, and stuff that your body can actually use to support your health?
9) Straighten your spine (Lordosis and Kyphosis are the official terms for a bent desk spine). Number 3 will help with this but for bad cases you may want to find a good chiropractor to test out.