Sometime in the past five years, you may have seen the catchphrase “sitting is the new smoking” floating around on the internet, in a magazine or on a billboard. The reason this phrase was coined is that there is now a catalog of scientific data linking sedentary lifestyles (a.k.a lots of sitting) with obesity, heart disease, circulatory and digestive disorders, and more. For some people, this news was reason enough to go out and buy a standing desk. However, as it turns out, while changing positions can be helpful, standing all day is not ideal either. The problem is not as much with the particular position you’re in, as it is with staying in a fixed position and simply not moving around enough.
At first glance, that seems like terrible news for those of us with office jobs. Staying in one position for hours is how we get most of our work done! What should a healthy work day look like for us? We make it to the gym 3 times a week, is that enough to offset the sitting and standing? (It’s not).
A growing body of cutting-edge research is beginning to show us that what it really takes to keep our bodies healthy with a sedentary job. Simply put, we need to find ways to move around more: whenever we can, however we can, and even if it’s in very short stints. Those short stints add up, and over time can slow the progression of physical ailments associated with being in a fixed position.
Luckily, OmBody Health is here to help. Our Fitness Program Director, Julia Workman, made this video to show you several easy stretches you can do at your desk. We recommend going through this routine a minimum of 1-2 times a day. Ideally, you would run through the routine once for every 30-60 minutes you spend sitting or standing still, although we know that’s not always going to be realistic.
Give it a shot- remember, it takes about 21 days to solidify a new habit. Discipline yourself, and see how it goes. You might be surprised at how valuable this routine becomes!
About the Author
Julia Workman, CYT
Julia is an experienced yogi, teacher and dancer with a passion for wellness. As the Fitness Program Director OmBody Health, she designs and implements Yoga and fitness programs for our corporate clients. She also teaches powerful workshops that guide busy people toward healthier work/life integration.