Since the advent of computers and the forty-hour work week people have found themselves sitting for more parts of the day and less exercising. This can be dangerous to one’s health after prolonged periods of sitting can cause several different musculoskeletal diseases and can have a severe impact on your overall health.
Some have compared it to smoking for the earlier generation. Now that sitters are becoming aware of the potential side effects of long term sitting, they are deciding to do something about it with the help of scientists and chiropractors.
Here are some very basic but efficient ways to make sitting a healthier activity:
1. Use An Adjustable Chair
An adjustable chair will help you remain comfortable and help correct your posture to your needs. This is the very basic step to avoid health risks caused by sitting.
2. Watch Your Posture
There are a few things to know about the healthy posture for office work. Keep your feet planted in front of you, keeping the straight line from your hips, to your knees, and down to your feet. Keeping them planted will prevent them from being pulled down by gravity affecting your posture. You also have to keep your knees lower than your hips, but only slightly. This is an OSHA regulation. If they are significantly higher or lower this could affect blood flow. Crossing your legs should be done rarely. You also have to look out for your arms’ position too: keep your arms at your desk bent at a 90 degree angle at the elbows if possible.
3. Set Up Your Workstation Properly
Keep your screen or monitor about 14” away from your face. The top of the screen should be about eye level. This will allow your eyes to lazily look lower without having to crane your neck too bad which is harmful to your spine.
4. Remember To Sit Up
Keep your posture straight if possible. Stools were around long before chairs with backs were invented and the people of yesteryear got along just fine. Keep your back straight up and down the best you can. If possible ditch your office chair and buy a stool or yoga ball to sit in to help correct a slouchy posture. This technique also builds core muscle to correct posture over a longer period although it can be more exhausting.
Remember to stretch at your desk from time to time: you can do it even if you are busy and when you have not time for longer breaks. Discover certain ways to stretch out your legs and arms. This will increase the blood flow to those areas as well as prevent the muscles from cramping after a long day.
6. Take A Break
Take micro breaks. Even at your desk, standing up and moving around a little will move some blood around. Take these frequently when you have the time and this will reverse some of the damage done by prolonged sitting.
7. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water frequently will help your body’s immune system by flushing out toxins, as well as keeping you mentally alert and fighting back hunger pains. Keep a bottle at your desk or use it as an opportunity to walk around the office.
8. Avoid Sitting Whenever You Can
When at home, also try to refrain from sitting for too long. Take opportunities to stand and move around to refrain from being too sedentary. Even if you don’t do regular exercise, take a short walk every day if you can. A few miles a day can matter a lot to your health.
Sitting for long periods of the day for years on end cause several health problems and increase the rate of cholesterol production. Over time, years can be taken off a life and the risk of heart disease increases severely. Clinical studies claim that sitting can largely contribute to an early death. While moving around as much as possible is encouraged sometimes it just is not realistic. Using these tricks will help you put some health back into sitting.
This is a guest post by Ashley Williamson, a regular writer on health and lifestyle currently working for WorldMarket.com. If you want to sit comfortably at your home after work, get your chairs from world market – just remember not to sit around too much.