The way you sit and work at your office desk could seriously be affecting your health. This article contains tips and advice to help you stay healthy and stress-free in your office job.
In today’s world we put an incredible amount of stress on our bodies by living each day in ways that evolution never meant for us to live in. You eat more processed foods and artificial ingredients than vegetables and if you’re working an office job your posture has a serious effect on your health.
Human beings were not designed to sit on a chair behind a desk for 8+ hours every day. You’re haven’t evolved to click keyboard and mouse buttons and stare at a computer screen all day either.
Long term effects of an office job can include illnesses as serious as diabetes, obesity and heart conditions. Think about it, when you sit for extended periods of time, blood circulation is far from what it should be. There’s also a big chance that you are not sitting up straight and this affects your spine, nerves and body functions.
How Sitting All Day Damaged My Health
If you think I wrote this article as some wishy-washy advice, think again.
As you may know, I’m only 24. I’ve been working 10+ hour days for the last 4 months, where I just sit in front of my computer without much of a break. The last 2 months I felt a numbness in my right hand, right leg and right foot. The best way to described it is like a pinched nerve, where there’s this constant sensation. It’s not painful but not pleasant either.
Since that numb feeling has been around for 2 months and hasn’t gotten any less, I decided it’s something to take seriously and go and see a professional. I chose not to see a general doctor, because what can they help me with that I can’t find on the internet myself?
I went to a chiropracter – a doctor that specializes in healing the body through working with your spine.
An interesting analysis he did on me was to place each of my feet on a separate scale and asked me to stand up straight as I normally would. The result was that I was putting 8KG more weight on my right leg than on my left leg, which means that my pelvis and lower spine was under constant pressure at an angle creating a skew hip.
The chiropracter’s treatment consisted of ‘cracking’ many of the discs in my spine to re-align it and take pressure off any nerves that were trapped. It’s not completely better but I feel a big relief from the constant pressure and numbness I felt for the last 2 months, it’s almost gone.
The human body is enormously complex with millions of nerves running through it. Unexpected, wild movements or collisions (with the ground or other objects) can cause nerves to be trapped or even damaged which can lead to unpleasant consequences. Hunching, leaning on one leg or sitting for extended periods can also cause nerves to get irritated and if left untreated or uncorrected, can cause problems as serious as loss of control of muscles.
Chiropractic In 100 Words
- Aches and pains are signs that your body isn’t working correctly.
- Your brain, spinal cord and all your nerves control how your body works.
- Physical, chemical or emotional stresses produce a defensive posture.
- Muscles contract, locking spinal joints that pinch or irritate nearby nerves.
- Lack of nervous system integrity sets the stage for disease and ill health.
- A thorough examination helps chiropractors find these vertebral subluxations.
- Applying a precise force to stuck spinal joints helps the body correct itself.
- Health usually returns as repeated visits restore nervous system integrity.
- That’s why chiropractic care has helped millions get well and stay well.
How To Stay Healthy While Working
Take a break every 30 minutes.
Working full days behind a desk is very taxing on your body, both physically and mentally.
The best thing you can do to stay healthy is to take a break at least once an hour, but preferably every 30 minutes.
Stand up, stretch, roll your eyes around even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Sit Up Straight
When you do sit behind your desk, having the correct posture is essential.
Don’t slouch, hunch or lean.
Keep your spine as straight as possible. This means sit up straight with your weight distributed evenly on each buttock.
Set up your computer or workspace in such a way that everything is perfectly within reach when you’re sitting up straight on your chair.
Another downside to an office job is the lack of movement and the lack of being able to prepare healthy meals. This often results in you eating unhealthy fast foods, coffees and snacks.
If you really want to stay healthy, avoid coffee and sugary drinks as much as possible. Drink water.
Avoid fast foods and processed foods and eat as healthy as possible. This can be done by packing your own meals like sandwiches, fruit salads, yoghurts etc. If you want you could also cook the night before and make enough so that you can have a portion to take with you to work the next day.
Stay Stress Free
Office jobs are usual stressful environments. Stress has one of the biggest negative impacts on your body, even more than a bad diet or lack of exercise. It’s very important to find a way that works for you to relieve stress.
You may not even be aware of the fact that you’re very stressed until it gets to a point where you totally burn out and need weeks to recover.
- Taking regular breaks (every 30-60 minutes) is a helpful step in relieving stress.
- Daily exercise (preferably before you start work to circulate blood and oxygen).
- Get yourself a stress-ball that you can squeeze whenever you feel stressed.
- Get calming and meditative music or binaural beats.
The bottom line is that sitting on a chair for hours on end has a big negative impact on your health, both physically and mentally. I’m not suggestion you quit your job, but I do recommend implementing the tips and advice in this article to reduce the negative effects on your health from your office job.