In this interview with the Los Angeles Times, Dr. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and treadmill desk inventor declared: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
Well, it’s official, my job is going to kill me.
Most Americans have jobs that require little to no physical movement. We sit at a desk, looking at a computer screen and punish our bodies. We can’t quit our jobs, but we can help avoid some of the pain that sitting causes our bodies.
Laura Williams at Thrillist suggests setting a time to go off every hour to remind you to get up, move around and do some stretches. She suggests some easy-to-do stretch techniques that won’t make you look like a lunatic at work.
Taking a few minutes every hour to ‘deskercise’ can really help. The movements are not hard and will actually make you feel better. One of Williams suggested exercises is a neck release series (simple nodding, shaking and rolling techniques) because “modern work is plotting to destroy your neck.” Another is series of shoulder releases (shoulder shrugs and rolls) to “help you reset your posture quickly.”
Bonus info: In her article Laura Williams references an epidemic known as “text neck.” Basically staring at our phones is putting too much weight on our spines. The lower our heads are angled down looking at the screen the more weight we’re putting on our spines and the more likely we are to cause permanent damage. Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post people need to “[j]ust be cognizant of where your head is in space. Continue to enjoy your smartphones and continue to enjoy this technology — just make sure your head is up.”