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 barren snacks. Someone had brought in 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. Barbara, after tying to beat Bob from accounting to the bear claw table, pulled a hamstring and then complained of being out of breath.
I tried to make myself invisible in my generic, corporate-patterned cubicle. I knew that an impending sugar crash was about to envelope most of the office. A predictable mood swing would cause adults to begin whining like toddlers in need of a nap.
This is, unfortunately, a premature death sentence that can be caused from working as a cubicle jockey in corporate America.
The Dangers of Sitting
Ok, I may be over-dramatizing ever so slightly to prove a point. 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, dammit, 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.
The truth is that we’ve all gotta do what we’ve gotta to do to get to the next phase of our financial lives. But that doesn’t mean your body has to age like a K9, seven years for every one. 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! I’ve paid off the right guards, the tunnels have been dug, I even have a deal with an workshop inmate 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 means I don’t have to answer any 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 as if they are meals, just because someone brought them 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 five, can you add in nutrients, minerals, vitamins, 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 three will help with this but for bad cases you may want to find a good chiropractor to test out.