We all know that sitting for the majority of the day can be detrimental to our health. In fact, research has demonstrated that staying in the same position for an extended period during the day, especially in sitting, can cause or worsen common musculoskeletal disorders. Some of the conditions that are undoubtedly related to prolonged sitting include: low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and carpal tunnel, among others.
Since many of us downtown Toronto employees spend our working days seated at our desks, we could all benefit from finding easy ways to allow our bodies to better tolerate the stresses caused by prolonged sitting. Read on for 6 simple suggestions that could change your workday for the better!
- Set a reminder on your phone or watch to stand and walk for a few minutes for every one hour spent seated.
- Use the buddy system! Team up with other co-workers to help in reminding each other to break every hour to stand up and move.
- Change your work surface. There are many products available that allow you to adjust your desk height, enabling you to stand for a portion of the day as you work.
- Change your chair. Several ergonomically friendly chairs exist on the market today that can help reduce the risk of creating or exacerbating pain. Some of the modifications available that are most helpful include differing levels of lumbar support, shoulder supports, or adjustable arm and neck rests.
- Perform stretches on a daily basis at your desk. In general, a routine incorporating movements that target your neck, arms, torso, back, hips and legs should all be part of a healthy daily regimen. Your Emkiro Physiotherapist in Toronto can help you determine which stretches are most beneficial for your individual needs.
- Integrate frequent standing by aiming to stand for specific daily tasks. For example, stand while taking phone calls or while eating lunch.
Utilizing one or more of these tips could help you and fellow Toronto professionals reduce the harmful effects of the “chair epidemic”!