The pandemic has brought us much misfortune, and nobody can dispute that. But it’s brought one valuable, positive thing to office workers – the opportunity to break up the workday and release your bodies from the overload of sitting at a device (laptop/tablet/screen) way too much.
Maybe you feel just fine sitting a lot. Maybe you never notice if parts of your body are starting to ache or stiffen or fall asleep. You’re creating a body shaped for using technology. Your body operates to support you doing the things you do the most, until wear & tear causes things to fall apart. So while it maybe seems “comfortable” some of the time to sit for long periods of time, you might want to consider trading a little of that in for the relatively mild discomfort of standing up and waving your limbs around a little. The benefits are definitely there.
Take it from someone who knows – at the start of my career in technology, I was spending multiple hours a night gaming, writing code, and editing photos or making art in Photoshop. That’s in addition to a full day of work at a computer. You would not have been able to pry me away from my desk for 5 minutes every hour, no matter what benefits you could promise me. But take it from me, this is exactly the kind of thing we all need to be looking at. Maybe the vertebrae in my neck wouldn’t have herniated & degenerated as a group if I had ever given a thought to how I was treating my body. We’ll never know. But if I can help even one person turn around an overloaded neck, spine, shoulder, knee, hip – I’m damn well going to try! 😉
Here’s your prescription: every hour, get up and move for 1-5 minutes. You can make time for 1 minute per hour for you. That’s 7 minutes in an 7-hour workday (and move for more than 1 minute during lunch). If you like to lean forward and stare at your laptop screen or monitor, make some chin tucks or gentle head circles part of your 1-5-minute break. If you have a yoga ball, why not park it next to your desk, so you can knock out a quick 1-5 minute core stabilization exercise once an hour? And at lunchtime, get your blood moving – do some walking lunges, or chair squats, or inchworms. Even if you work out in the evening, you’re already a little ahead – part of your workout is already done! Give it a try!