Return to Good Health column: Standing desks help but aren’t enough
People benefit by improving their office ergonomics with modern know-how. Better chairs and standing desks make a big difference in fatigue and pain for office workers. The problem is that it’s just not enough.
To survive a 40-plus-hour week in the office, it takes more exercise than the average person is getting. It takes at least an hour per day of exercise to out-do the sitting.
Some of this exercise needs to be “corrective” to balance out the postural contortions that we get ourselves into with office work.
The average American spends seven hours per day sitting.
We tend to be more active here in Colorado, but many of my new patients seem to get into a sedentary rut that leads to physical symptoms such as neck and back pain. This sedentary lifestyle is deadly, even with modern ergonomic improvements.
The standing desk will help, but nothing beats daily exercise. Here are a few tips:
• Make time to get some exercise throughout the day. Short walks and taking the stairs adds up and keeps you moving. Take advantage of small exercise opportunities.
• Learn a few corrective exercises from a qualified trainer or therapist. This will help you to avoid the fatigue that affects your posture, which usually leads to spinal injuries.
• Stretch a little throughout the day. This movement will help you avoid repetitive stress and help to keep you from tightening up from staying in the same position for too long.
Dr. Vukelich can be reached at 180° Wellness in Glenwood Springs at 945-4440.
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