That’s actually true. Scary, right? About 80 percent of Americans sit all day at work. We’re more sedentary than any generation before us, and sedentary living can lead to things like weak muscles, tight joints, lower back strain, increased risk of disease and a shortened life expectancy. Here’s what we can do about it.
Forget Your Workout—Move Throughout the Day
OK, OK, keep working out—but know it isn’t enough to counteract the effects of sitting all day at your desk. Start incorporating as much movement as possible into your workday. Nothing is too small! A few ideas to get you started:
- Take a 1 to 3 minute break every half hour to stand or take a walk
- Get a standing desk
- Always use the stairs
- Print items at the furthest printer from your desk
- Stretch! Stretch! Stretch!
- Try to cut your sitting time by 15 to 20 minutes a day, then 30 to 40 minutes, then 1 to 2 hours
Listen to Your Mama! Sit Up Straight
Check out how you’re sitting right now. Are you reading this… slouched over? Shoulders down and forward? Chin sticking out? If not, awesome! If so, you’re not alone. A huge problem for many desk-working Americans is posture. Poor posture can cause many issues—and the main one we’re concerned about is vertebral subluxations, aka misalignments in the spine, which then lead to a whole litany of other issues.
Improper posture is also causing deterioration between your muscles and joints—and it’s zapping your energy. A slouched position causes your body to work double-time and wastes tons of energy. Try these quick fixes to change up how you’re sitting at your desk:
- Make sure the bottom edge of your computer monitor screen is level with your eyes
- Keep your monitor about 30 inches from your face, directly in front of you
- If you have two or more monitors, switch the location of the most frequently used
- Adjust settings so your chair supports you elbows, hips and knees in 90 degree angles
- Consider a footstool to take pressure off your lower back
You may have already guessed it, but chiropractic care is a key element of improving overall posture. Not only will chiropractic adjustments remove subluxations and improve your body’s overall function, but the therapies prescribed alongside your care help retrain the body to sit and move in ways that benefit the spine. We’ve seen countless patients report better posture and decreased pain in the back, neck, shoulders, hips (the list could go on and on!), as well as increased energy - after following a consistent care plan.
Through a combination of increased daily activity, some adjustments (pun intended) to your habits and chiropractic care and therapies, you can greatly decrease your risk of disease and degeneration caused by sedentary living. The body is a fragile ecosystem that is maintained by balance—if you take care of it in every way that you can, you open the doors to living a long, healthy life.