Here’s what being a human means to me. You go out there and take life by the short and curlys instead of sitting there and letting life happen to you. You are a Human Being!! That means you should be an active participant – yes active, as in humans are designed to move, and are at their best when they do! But somehow you’ve turned into a Ventriloquists dummy – life is sitting there with it’s hand up your jaxie and you have become a puppet in your own story. How it got its hand up there I don’t know, considering your posterior is generally fixed to a seat. Nevertheless it has, and now that life story is happening to you, rather than you writing it. Want to find out why your desk job is killing you, then read on! You see, if you were writing the story you’d be up and about doing things. As it stands (well sits) at the moment, these are the things you are letting happen to you, all while you are tied to your desk at work.
- You get the Hunchy-back. The muscles in your upper back and the back of your shoulders weaken from the continual rounding when you are sitting at a desk. At the same time the muscles in the front of your shoulders and upper chest tighten. And before you know it, that is your body’s natural state. And while nobody may write a book about you in Notra Dame just yet, the more you maintain that position the worse it gets.
- You will get neck strain. Your noggin weighs a fair amount, I have even heard the brainiacs argue theirs weighs more. Now, while I think they are trying to trick those of us who don’t have the same brain power, anyone who sits at a desk all day is likely putting their head in a position that has it pulling on the muscles in the back of the neck. This tension can lead to inflammation in that region so the nerves are affected causing an almost pins and needles like effect, or causing headaches in a percentage of the population.
- It can lead to poor circulation in the legs, sometimes causing swelling in the lower extremities. Think about it, when you sit there are a whole lot of fairly harsh angles created in your body. Your blood and oxygen flow is then compromised as corners are harder to get around than a straight line. Your feet need fresh, oxygenated blood and also to flush out any gunky fluid build up. That is a dang site harder when you are static when you should be moving, and bent when you should be straight.
- *cue dramatic organ music* for Brain Fog!! Yep, your grey matter requires oxygen and blood and all the nutrients it contains to work properly. Guess what assists your body getting it there – your muscles! Sitting muscles aren’t doing much in the way of contracting and relaxing (you know pumping), so once again you are making things hard – in this case, hard for your brain to work. A brain lacking oxygen is a tired brain. A tired brain is not a thinking brain. A tired brain is likely a grumpy brain. And a tired, not thinking, grumpy brain is far from an asset in the job place.
- Studies have found that the slouching associated with sitting for prolonged periods and the negative physical changes it brings actually impacts our brain chemistry. Depressive moods and low energy levels are actual measurable changes that occur when you slouch at your desk – so maybe it isn’t the job that’s depressing you, it’s the fact that they make you sit!
- It weakens your bones. Bones need weight bearing activity in order to maintain density. Yet when you sit, it is your chair that is doing the ‘bearing’, you on the other hand are doing very little.
- When you sit more than you are active your muscles weaken and atrophy. Sitting weakens the muscles your body utilises for posture, including those in the abdomen and spine. The reality is sitting only trains your body for one thing – sitting.
- It goes without saying that if all of this is happening the rate at which your body burns calories is also severely compromised, so we won’t harp on about it other than to say that weight gain is therefore an inevitability *cue dramatic organ music again*.
So while you might not have put yourself in ‘couch potato’ category as you don’t spend much time on the couch at home, you may very well have moved yourself into the ‘seat spud’ realm with the amount of time you spend at your desk during the day. It’s all good, we at CrossFit Access know how to help fix it . . . you’ll see. To start in our Beginners Program click here!