My past few posts have gone into quite a lot of detail about the pros and cons of sitting and standing while at work, and the benefits of stretching.
If you haven’t had time to read them yet (Really? You don't know what you're missing!), or if it's too much to remember, then a quick recap follows. For more details on each of these topics, the posts on sitting, standing, essential stretches, and upper limb stretches can all be found in the archives.
1 Can lead to all sorts of bad things, health-wise. We need to break the habit of long periods sitting at a desk.
2 Mini-breaks are a good thing. Every half an hour or so is ideal.
3 Get up out of your chair and put the kettle on, print a document or do a little dance*, but always STRETCH.
4 Try to reduce the overall time you spend sitting each day, perhaps by trying a standing desk for some of the time.
1 A popular alternative, the standing desk is gaining popularity.
2 Standing is much better for you than sitting as you will move more, and this brings lots of positive health benefits.**
3 Make sure your workstation is correctly set up and that you have a good surface to stand on (an anti-fatigue mat is a must).
4 Build up gradually. Don’t expect to be able to stand all day. Few people do.
1 Stretching should be an integral part of your working day.
2 It maintains flexibility and joint range of motion, and improves your circulation.
3 Do a few stretches each time you have a mini-break. Several short sessions will keep the stiffness at bay.
4 Mix it up. Don’t go through the same old routine each time. There are a few staples that you’ll want to keep in (back extensions and chest stretches, for example), but otherwise add variety and give a different part of your body a bit of TLC each time.
*this blog does not endorse any specific dance genre. Disco, hip-hop, street, line-dancing, thrash metal, Argentinian tango - whatever gets you shaking your thang is fine by me.
**including burning more calories which, for many people, can lead to wanting to eat more chocolate.
How have you got on with my suggestions? Have you made changes to your workstation, or tried any of the stretches I've outlined? I'd love to have some feedback about your progress, or even about any barriers you've encountered when trying to make changes.