With computers taking over most of the work, and with the advent of communication technology, the nature of jobs has changed drastically. While most of us enjoy working on a lone desk on a laptop, or a desktop, the posture that our body keeps all through the day sitting in fixed positions concentrating on the screen, may be very harmful to the skeletal and nervous systems.
Our skeleton is a complicated structure of bones, and movement is what keeps the joints function in the correct manner. Sitting long hours in fixed position has a negative impact on the joints. The effects may not be visible immediately as you start working in incorrect positions, but they keep building up and surface out at a later point in time.
What are the problems that may arise by prolonged sitting?
Lethargy and Low BMR
Our body needs activity, to keep itself healthy, to release good hormones and feel happy. When we sit for prolonged hours, our body feels lethargic, dull, tired and our BMR comes down. This low BMR leads to fat storage in the body that would otherwise get burned had the body been active, and it paves the way to obesity and depression.
2. Cervical Stiffness and Pain
A desk job can really be a pain in the neck, literally! Cervical vertebrae are seven small bones located in the neck right below the skull and are connected to each other with ligaments. Working for long hours with neck fixed at a certain position (approximately 86% of the times facing downwards) makes the ligaments stiff with time, which leads to a chronic pain in the neck.
3. Lower Back Problems
Who can sit with an absolute straight back for 8 hours? We tend to either lean forward towards the screen or lean back taking the support of the chair’s back. Both the positions are harmful if stayed in them for a long duration. The lower back is again a set of small vertebrae joined with ligaments that need proper movement and proper posture to stay healthy. The “erector spinae” muscle that straightens or rotates the back is the one that is impacted the most when we sit for long hours.
Obesity is not just being fat, it is a complete package of a number of accompanying malfunctions. Obesity impacts all the organs right from the pancreas to kidneys to lungs. When you are confined to a place and need to get things done, you tend to eat more both out of boredom and stress. This combined with Low BMR is the reason for obesity.
Apart from these, many desk job employees develop shoulder problems, chronic swelling in Legs, wrist tenderness, eye problems and many more, and as they say prevention is better than sure, team Fitso would like to advise you all to take precaution and handle your body with care at work to be able to enjoy the life beyond work.
Here are a few tips to stay fit and healthy when you have a desk job
Take Frequent Breaks
This is the most important advice to keep your mental and physical sanity at a workplace. After every 30 to 40 minutes get up from your desk, and walk around be it to the water cooler, to the restroom or just take around in the hall. Make a rule to take the call on mobile phones while walking and that shall also contribute to the activity and improve the blood circulation. This will keep you fresh and improve your productivity.
2. Stretch the Muscles
Nothing pleases the muscles more than stretching. Stretching is a natural skill that babies are born with. It helps relax the stressed muscles and that’s the reason stretching is religiously done after working out. You can stretch your neck, shoulders, forearms, elbows and back sitting right at your desk. If you are not comfortable, you can use the washroom seat too for the same purpose, but make sure to stretch and release the built up tension in the muscles. To learn how to stretch watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUNw_A8gpJI
3. Keep Correct Posture
Keep your back straight as much as possible, keep your laptop at a height (you can use books under it) so that your eyes can look straight at the screen and you do not have to look down, this will keep the neck posture correct. Rest your elbows on the table, to disengage the upper arm and shoulder muscles and avoid possible aches.
4. Add some workout to your routine
Easier said than done, but try to fit some kind of workout in your routine to keep yourself energized, fit and healthy. It can be yoga, dancing, running or some aerobic exercises that you could just do in your room every day to give your body the dose of movement it needs. This little workout will improve your blood circulation, improve the muscle flexibility, build muscle strength and improve your stamina.
So, keep working and keep working out!