If you are like most people, you already know you sit more than you should during the day. On average, Americans spend 7.7 hours of their waking time sitting down. That may seem like a lot of time but considering how much time you spend in your car, sitting at your desk at work and sitting on the couch once you get home, those hours add up. But if you are spending so much of your day at rest, why are you in pain so much of the time?
You just sat up a little straighter, didn’t you?
The posture you use when you sit at a desk is the key to avoiding common aches and pains associated with a sedentary job. If you are experiencing headaches, shoulder pain, back pain, or discomfort in your arms, hands, or wrists, you are likely spending too much time slouched over in a less-than-optimal position. Computer monitors should be situated just below eye level with keyboards placed to allow your arms to remain at 90-degree angles. Your chair should position your body so that your back and neck can remain straight with your feet on the floor, knees forming a 90-degree angle. Yet all the ergonomics in the world cannot compensate for periodic resets of your posture.
Stop sitting and start standing
Nothing can take the place of good old-fashioned movement. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to benefit from moving around. No need to do yoga at your desk or jog laps around the cubicles. Simply standing, stretching, walking to the water fountain or bathroom, and sitting back down can make a difference in the aches and pains you feel. Set a timer for 10 minutes every hour to stand up, move around and reset your posture. Not only will many of your aches subside, but you will also notice an increase in energy, focus, metabolism, and muscle tone.
A sedentary life puts you at risk for bone and joint disease
You may not realize it, but there are several large muscle groups in play when you stand. Core muscles, those found in your stomach, back, buttocks, and upper thighs, are engaged to help you maintain your posture while muscles in your legs contract to support you.
When these large muscle groups go unused for the majority of the day, they become weaker making you more prone to injury. The muscles in your back and stomach are especially important for maintaining a pain-free life. As they weaken, you are prone to disc problems, muscle strain, or narrowing of the space between the vertebrae.
Even the condition of your bones is affected by a sedentary lifestyle. The less active you are, the greater your risk for developing osteoporosis. It’s no wonder so many of us experience joint and muscle pain daily, even if our jobs do not require physical strain.
Fortunately, avoiding the aches and pains from sitting is a simple process. Moving more, sitting less, and enlisting the help of a skilled chiropractor can help you conquer the daily aches and pains you experience.