What Happens to Your Body When You Sit All Day?
April 1, 2021
Poor Posture & Pressure on Neck
There are many negative effects that occur when you sit down for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis. Being in a seated position puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your spine and encourages poor posture. Due to this, people who often work from behind a desk, frequently experience back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain amongst other areas. Lack of movement also contributes to stiff joints and tight, sore muscles.
Loss of Strength & Muscle Mass
Immobility, associated with extended desk work, can contribute to muscle atrophy. Atrophy occurs when we fail to use our muscles adequately resulting in loss of muscle mass and strength. This occurrence greatly increases the risk of sudden injury or chronic pain as the body is less prepared to withstand sudden movements or awkward bending and twisting.
General Ergonomics – Be Mindful!
Ergonomics is another important aspect to be mindful of. The relationship between your desk and chair can have a major influence on the pain you may or may not be experiencing. It may be inviting a slouched or hunched over the position which could increase pressure on the spine and neck. Try as best you can, to prevent having rounded shoulders, extending your head and neck forward, slouching, or crossing your legs.
Don’t Wait to Make Changes!
The best way to combat this? Get moving! Taking small but frequent breaks, if possible, to stretch, walk around and get some blood flow can make a big difference. This can be as simple as going to get water or coffee, just to give your body a change of pace from sitting. If you are able to incorporate any form of stretching into your work breaks, that also helps a great deal in preventing atrophy, stiffness, and soreness. It is especially important for desk workers to be physically active during off-hours. Utilize this time to stretch and exercise to ensure no muscle and joint function is lost as a result of inactivity at work.
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