Over the past few decades, technology has increased our efficiency and made everyday tasks easier. It has also increased the amount of time we sit in front of screens. As a result, we have larger waist lines and a noticeable decline in overall health and wellness.
The human body was meant to move. A body in motion releases endorphins, creativity and gets the blood flowing, as well as impacts mental and physical well-being. Sitting for extended hours has a dramatic and negative impact on a person’s health, posture and well-being.
Prolonged sitting can cause a host of problems including tight hips, shoulder restrictions, low back and neck pain, and more. According to the National Institute of Health, back pain affects 8 of 10 people in their lifetime and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The quality of our movement (or lack thereof) can and does affect the quality of our lives.
It is alarming to read statistics showing that the typical seated office worker has more musculoskeletal injuries than any other industry, including construction, metal, and transportation workers. One researcher’s conclusion stated, “Sitting is as much an occupational risk as lifting heavy weights on the job.”
From our youth through adulthood, sitting has become the new norm and we are sitting ourselves to death. The World Health Organization ranks physical inactivity or sitting too much, which causes an estimated 3.2 million deaths annually, as the fourth biggest preventable killer globally. Today, the average American spends approximately 13 hours a day sitting. Think about it, we sit:
- While eating breakfast
- On the way to work
- At work
- In front of a computer
- At lunch
- At dinner
- While on the phone
Awareness is the first step. The question to ask yourself is “how much of my day do I spend sitting?” Starting today, take action to decrease sitting time by standing and moving throughout the day. Note to self: don’t wait for some time to open up, block off time to move on your calendar or it won’t happen.
A few other alternatives to breaking the deskbound lifestyle are to stand up while talking on the phone, during meetings or make it a walking meeting. These simple but outside the norm activities will start the process to a healthier you.
To combat this problem and raise awareness among their employees, TVH is taking a stand, literally, with a Take a Stand Challenge. They are providing standing desks for office employees, as well as Active Work Stations with treadmill desks and cycle desks throughout the offices. This gives employees a great opportunity to add more movement into their workday.
If you would like to know more about TVH and the Nudge Health and Wellness programs, contact Lucy DelSarto, Health & Wellness Coach for TVH Americas, at firstname.lastname@example.org