I started this blog with a commitment to dig into the available information and research on how sedentary lifestyles impact health. My goal is to discover and test out solutions that may lead to improved health and wellness at work and in life. Early in this exploration I have discovered how extensive this body of knowledge is, and how many different ways a person can go wrong with a sedentary day job.
There are many factors that can affect the impact of sitting on our health. The most obvious is perhaps how long we are seated, and the frequency of breaks that we take. The type of work we perform and the equipment we use plays a large role as well. The ergonomic setup of our workstation is a topic of much research and has some controversy around the optimal setup. Our level of activity outside of work and overall health including other risk factors is also a consideration.
An animated video by Murat Dalkilinç explains in simple and clear terms some of the challenges faced by long periods remaining seated, the impacts on our musculoskeletal system and associated health risks.
So now we might be asking ourselves how to tell if I am at risk for the slew of negative health impacts that are associated with sitting, and what steps I should take moving forward. What a coincidence, I just asked myself those same questions, and here is what I decided. I am going to move more, and I encourage you to do the same. I know that I will not remember to do this on my own so I will set my phone to vibrate every half hour to remind me to move. I may stand and stretch, walk down the hall to grab some water or use the restroom, or take a 5 minute walk. I will report back on how effective this was, how often I simply ignored the timer because I was in the middle of a meeting, phone call, task or project, or if a timer going off that frequently simply drove me out of my mind.
If you are interested in adding more movement to your work day as well, please leave a comment and share your approach and how well it worked for you.