How to Fix the Sedimentary Lifestyle
Sitting is a hard work. Sitting poorly can be a pain in the neck, shoulders, back, and so on… and let’s face it, sitting isn’t going out of style any time soon.
I could toss around big scary words like kinematics and presenteeism or talk about the debate on whether posture is an innate characteristic or a response to our physical environment because that’s what doctors and researchers have been doing for the last 30+ years.
So where does this all leave us? With a heck of a lot of people talking about the pain that we shouldn’t have to live with. For example, US News. They report forward head posture as one of the 10 ways poor posture can harm your health… and work day. This posture problem, UN News reports, “can lead to tightening of some muscles and weakening of other”. “Leading to [neck and shoulder] pain and even tension headaches.” We all know that sitting is the new smoking and there is no way around sitting. We have to sit to travel to and from work, we sit while on the job, we sit while we eat, and we do plenty of recreational sitting when we relax at night catching up on our favorite TV series. The Mayo clinic even states that sitting – and doing it poorly- for 8+ hours a day has the “risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking”
Now that we’ve established it’s bad for us, let’s talk solutions.
But first, a short history on how we got to where we are today:
There was a time when computers took up an entire room. Over the past 30 years we have seen computers- and all technology- shrink. (We can look back on the telephone to mobile phone and see similar progression.)
Laptop computers were originally created as a way to stay connected for a short period of time when you could not be at your desktop. Hence the size. When laptops were first developed you were able to get a small size, portable computer, but it did not have the processing capacity of the desktop, thus keeping it as a secondary device. Today however, our bodies travel, we do not have the luxury of an end of biz day, and we require more from our portable devices- we want them smaller, lighter, faster, and with longer battery life. With these demands met by developers, laptops are for most professionals today the primary computer for long term use. And this is truly a wonderful thing. We can do so much more with our tech for anywhere.
When the developers of all of these amazing products set out to create and update them, there was little to no thought to how this was going to physically effect the body structure. No one said, “we can’t make this phone flat it won’t conform to the space between the human body’s ear and shoulder”. Or, “connecting this keyboard directly to the monitor will have negative effects on the musculoskeletal system of the upper trunk”. And this wasn’t necessarily their job either.
With technology developing this quickly, we are able to update last year’s model almost as rapidly as we change our seasonal wardrobe. Except the hard truth is we don’t see our tech the same way as we see our wardrobe, as an extension of ourselves; and in order to save our bodies we need to.
So now we understand how we got here, where do go?
First we need a mindset shift within the professional work world. We need to understand that taking a 5 minute U-break, as we call them at JōbuFIT, a few times throughout the day is not accomplishing another task, it is bringing focus back to your self. We need to impose on companies that this can only help job performance and employees overall health – both body and mind.
Then we need to take action. These U-breaks are designed to realign and reset your body, stretch out the tension, calm the mind, focus your breathing into action, and undo the harmful effect of sitting.
And lastly, these new healthy addition to our work days need to become healthy habits. With JōbuFIT’s tested programing, we take professionals through steps giving them the power to establish habits they can be proud, and not feel like they have to sneak fitness into their day.
To learn more and get in-person instruction and setup, contact Alessa.
JōbuFIT was created to teach all hardworking bodies how to check yourself before you check your tech. Creating movement moments to combat the sedimentary lifestyle epidemic sweeping our work force.