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The Immediate Problems Of Desk Jobs And How They Affect You

Desk jobs, or jobs that require professionals to sit down for extended periods, are some of the most frequent types of jobs. Approximately 86% of American workers sit most of the day in their profession. 

With many employees sitting for as long as 13 hours at a desk, it would be foolish not to consider the health consequences that your activity has on your body. 

Is there such a thing as a sitting disease? Medical experts have expressed serious concerns about the long-term effects of sitting. According to experts, sitting for long periods every day can increase the risk of premature death by up to 40%.

Workers who hold desk jobs for over 10 years are twice more at risk of developing colon cancer. While a desk job does not result in serious diseases, it can create a favorable terrain for these to arise. Indeed, they encourage unhealthy lifestyle choices. 

Maintaining healthy lifestyle choices can help keep risks at bay.

A prolonged sitting position

The human body isn't designed to remain immobile, especially in a sitting position, for long hours. It's safe to say that to stay healthy, we need to move and stay active. As such, a desk job is doing the precise opposite. So, while it can make it easy to develop health conditions, as mentioned above, it also has an immediate adverse impact on your body. Indeed, the position can increase back and neck pain. When you are working on a screen, you may be too focused to correct a bad posture. By the end of the day, muscle tensions can appear in the areas where you've maintained an uncomfortable position. 

Ergonomic desk chairs are one method of improving posture and alignment while seated. Even with the benefit of an ergonomic chair, you should still make an effort to stand up and move every hour or as often as you can. 

Loss of focus

Unfortunately, in a desk job, workers often struggle with the hyper-availability of the role. It's not uncommon to have multiple meetings organized back-to-back during the day because you are "here." As a result, desk employees can struggle for time and need to focus on time-saving solutions that keep them focused. This is typically when we reach for a second cup of coffee. 

Many rely on sugary coffee, pop, and snacks to recharge their energy, which, combined with a slow metabolism, can encourage weight gain. Often when we feel hunger, it is a sign that we are dehydrated. 

Drinking enough water throughout the day will help with energy levels and cravings. Hidrate Spark is a "smart" water bottle with a companion app that tracks how much water you drink and reminds you to drink. 

Balancing your mental and physical output is essential to your mental health. Exercise is a great way to release stress and is related to helping with depression and anxiety.

It can be hard to find time to schedule activities outside of work. However, programs such as fitness for dads can be crucial in making the most of your spare time to increase your energy levels.

Fitness equipment you can use at the office, like under-desk ellipticals and standing-desk balance boards, are a great way to incorporate activity while you work. 

There are easy and simple lifestyle habits you can incorporate into your day to support a healthier lifestyle. 

As you grow your energy levels, you also boost your metabolism and concentration, ensuring you don't need to rely on high-calorie snacks for performance. 

Tight hips

Prolonged sitting can lead to hip tightness. Most people don't realize the importance of the hip flexor muscles in their day-to-day comfort.

The hip flexors can lead to a misaligned pelvis and spine when they lose their mobility. As a result, you can develop chronic back and leg pain. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution that will preserve your hip flexors.

You need to make time for regular stretching to maintain their health. A stretching program can help reduce tension and manage discomfort. The Hip Hook is a tool specifically designed to target and stretch the hip flexor muscles.

It is important to note that improving muscle flexibility should not be a source of discomfort. Stretching can feel a little tight, but it should not cause pain. If you experience sharp pain, it may sign an underlying issue, either related to the surrounded organs or the joints. 

Long working hours

Regardless of the dangers of a sitting job, it remains a comfortable position. Sitting on a padded chair can make you lose track of time, especially if your mind is already focused on a task.

According to studies, individuals who work at a standing desk are more likely to maintain their work/life balance. On the other hand, it's easy to pile a few more hours at the desk when you are already sitting.

What difference will the extra hour make when you don't experience any physical fatigue?

Contrary to common belief, not being aware of muscular pains doesn't mean that you don't have any. The majority of desk workers develop back and neck pain. It's fair to say that working longer hours will only aggravate the phenomenon.

It will also drive increased stress levels as the tensions, both physician and mental, accumulate. That is precisely why even desk jobs with low responsibilities can generate high stress. Upgrading your workstation to a standing desk and adding a balance board will reduce the adverse side effects of sitting for prolonged periods. 

The bottom line: With a desk job, you need to become hyper-aware of your mind and body to avoid damaging health consequences. 

The typical desk job can drive many health complaints, both in the short and long term. Focusing on immediate complaints only, muscular pain, tightness, stress, and low energy levels are among the most frequent issues that affect desk job workers. Identifying the cause of the problem puts you in a better position to react and correct the situation. 

Photo by Mark Sivewright on Unsplash

April 8, 2021
April 8, 2021

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