Tag Archives: Susan Sharp

“Sitting is the New Smoking”

“Sitting is the New Smoking”    
By Susan Sharp, Brant Basics

Research shows that sitting for as little as two continuous hours increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, neck & back pain and other orthopedic problems. Sitting will shorten your life, just like smoking.

Many studies show the effects of long- term sitting are NOT reversible through exercise & good habits, which means that if you eat well and work out for an hour a day, but sit for most your other waking hours, that sitting will chip away the benefits of your exercise.  You are still considered sedentary.

The typical office worker has more Musculoskeletal injuries than any other industry including construction, transportation workers and the metal industry.

How do we make sense of this and fix it? Our bodies are built for movement and it keeps our bodies healthy. 

  1. We are not moving enough
  2. We are not moving well
  3. We are not performing basic maintenance on our bodies

Our society is starting to address the first item – moving more. I will offer insights into how to move better thinking of our posture while working in an office setting.

Guideline One:

Reduce optional sitting in your life. You can’t remove the kitchen table or a vehicle but working is the biggest opportunity for change. Switch to a sit-stand desk.  At home, consider watching TV on the floor and stretch, work on mobility.

Guideline Two:

Every 30 minutes you are deskbound, move for 2 minutes. Sitting causes orthopedic disfunctions. Sitting means you are not moving, and being sedentary can have negative long-term impacts

Guideline Three:

Perform 10-15 minutes basic daily maintenance on your body each day. Your muscles are like obedient dogs.  If you spend enough time training them – they’ll respond.

Guideline Four:

Learning to get your body into good positions takes a little effort and most people pick it up quickly.  The hard part is making a habit of it.  It takes practice! We offer some tools that can optimize how your position your body.

Monitor arms – properly place for head and eye position

Keyboards – to position your hands as an extension of your arms

Mouse – find one that fits your hand

Lighting – do not strain your eyes.  If you notice eye pain try some supplementary lighting

Desk Organization – position frequently accessed items in arms reach.  Items used less frequently can be stored away

Chair adjustment – Position your chair to fit YOUR body adjusting the seat, arms, back height and back tilt as necessary. Aches and pains brought on by desk work and sitting can be prevented and eliminated by moving well, moving more, and performing basic maintenance on your body.

If you have questions, please ask me!

I recommend the book: DESKBOUND by Dr. Kelly Starrett, which I used as a reference for much of this article.

Susan Sharp
Office Furniture and Design Specialist
705-748-2291  ex 28