Unless you have a high-end, ergonomic office chair and the commitment to hit the gym after work, you probably don’t feel that great at the end of the working day. Long hours spent working away at the desk, in the same chair, can take their toll on our bodies in many ways. There are some symptoms that we notice straight away – such as the aches and pains of cramped muscles and stiff joints – but there are bigger dangers for all those that sit at their desk all day. Increased activity and exercise in the workplace can help workers to avoid the following.
Poor Joint and Bone Health
Inactivity and lack of exercise aren’t good for our joints and bones. This is worsened by a bad posture when slumped over the keyboard. An ergonomic chair can help, but you are still sat in the same position with the same strain on your neck and wrists. With time, this can lead to complications with the skeletal system and long term conditions such as arthritis. Many desk job workers also struggle with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and nerve damage that may require surgery and time off of work. A common modern complaint is “text neck”. This is where necks are strained from the pressure of always looking down at a screen.
Inactivity of Muscles for Muscle Weakness and Bad Circulation
Any worker that gets pins and needles in their legs is at high risk. Poor circulation in the legs, which is common with the wrong chair, can lead to peripheral artery disease, and blood clots. These blot clots can be fatal in the wrong place. Poor circulation also raises the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The Inability to Burn Calories as Effectively
If you are sat in the same chair for close to 8 hours a day, with no exercise, there is no attempt to burn off the calories of the day. This is a big problem for anyone that likes to snack through the day on unhealthy treats, or has a greasy breakfast before they start. This can lead to issues with obesity and heart health. This in turn poses risks with heart failure, diabetes and premature death. In fact, the simple act of sitting for long periods every day is enough to increase the risk of heart disease.
Additional Health Risks of This Office Environment
These are just the many potential problems from not moving around at work during the day. We also have to consider the other health dangers of sitting at a desk for long periods. Long term computer work can damage our eyesight. The environment of the office cubicle may not provide much natural light or fresh air. Natural light is essential for Vitamin D and a regulated body clock. Then there is the general risk of germs and illness.
The body simply wasn’t made to sit for long periods, but it has become unavoidable in many jobs. The answer to all of this is simply to move more and try and exercise a little during the day. If you can increase your activity levels and get out of that chair now and then, the risks decrease.