Danger at Your Desk


Yes, there’s more bad news about how many of us spend our days. In addition to increasing the risk of low back pain and other muscular problems, prolonged sitting now appears to increase the risk of certain types of cancer and premature death.

This article in USA Today highlights research that suggests spending too much time in your chair is even worse for you than previously thought.  It’s easy to see how the hours sitting pile up too – commuting to work (unless you walk), working at a computer or desk, commuting home, sitting on the couch watching TV…

Too much sitting makes Jack a sick boy.

So, outside of changing careers to become a park ranger to wander the trails of Yosemite, how can you improve your situation?  Try setting a reminder on your computer to go off every 20-30 minutes and get up when it goes off.  Do a couple of light stretches at your desk once you’re up or go for a short walk before sitting down again.  Another great strategy one of my clients uses is to stand up whenever talking on the phone.  If you have to take several calls throughout the day, this is a default way of getting out of your chair frequently.

Obviously, regular exercise is pivotal to maintaining good health, but it may not be enough if you rack up hours at a time in your chair.  Get more active during the day in whatever way you can to keep yourself healthy and feeling good.

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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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