Your Desk Job is Killing You

desk job killing youFast food is bad for you. So is too much sugar, smoking cigarettes, and sucking down soda. But, you pretty much knew that already. Individually and collectively each of those things has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. That said, there is another bad habit most of us have that could lead to our demise. It’s especially prevalent among entrepreneurs. If you’re sitting at your computer, and have been there for hours, you’re doing it right now.

 

Working Stiff

Sitting at a computer for hours on end can actually kill you. It contributes to and encourages a sedentary lifestyle. In addition to neck and back pain, headaches and carpal tunnel, desk dwellers are at an increased risk of diabetes and an early death. When we sit and slouch for long periods of time we’re changing the way our body works. Fat isn’t burnt as fuel; it’s stored in the liver instead. Weight gain is common. We’re likely to get tired. We become less productive.

Lumo Body Tech, a California based posture and movement company, has diagnosed us desk jockeys with Silicon Valley Syndrome. It’s no wonder why. In a culture the praises around the clock coding binges and day long hack-a-thons sitting at a desk has become the norm. But, with death and a decline in the quality of work looming large, it’s best to change up this screen routine.

 

Make a Move

There are some obvious remedies that could undo this sitting situation. A stand up desk or treadmill sure would be nice, but sometimes getting one requires clearance from HR or recommendation from a medical professional. If you work for yourself or from home, either would be an excellent option. But, if you’re trapped in a cubical, confined by the corporate grind until your side hustle becomes your full-time gig, the solution may be standing up.

New York Times columnist Gretchen Ruben proposes standing as a way to break the hunching in your chair habit. Stand for two minutes every 20 minutes, she says. If you’re able to get up and actually move around the office, do that. Ruben says that moving about the office has some impressive benefits; “You will lose weight, you lessen your chance of heart disease, and you will improve your brain.” Taking her own advice Ruben says she takes phone calls standing up and simply walks down the hall and back to break to ensure she’s not sitting for too long. When all else fails, she repeats her earlier sentiment, “if you can do nothing else, stand up!”

 

Sit Less

Boost your brain power, productivity, and fat loss by spending less time sitting around.

  • Stand for two minutes every 20 minutes
  • Take phone calls standing up
  • Use a standing or treadmill desk
  • Make your meetings standing or walking meetings
  • Don’t email or message people in your office, get up and go talk to them
  • Perform stretches or bodyweight exercises in your office or at your desk
  • Walk during your lunch break

How much time do you spend at a computer each day? Are you are risk for Silicon Valley Syndrome? What do are you going to do about it?

About Joe Vennare

Joe is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete where he writes, instructs and speaks about all things fitness. But, there’s more to him than just exercise, so he moonlights as a writer, bookworm and self-professed knowledge addict. For more, follow his business and fitness escapades on Twitter, @JoeVennare

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