For all it’s well known that physical inactivity is bad for health. But not everyone knows how harmful it is, even having reached the rank of a pandemic in this century according to numerous studies. Any person staying long hours sitting in front of a computer while working knows that this causes many inconvenience over time, whether back, shoulders or neck pain, and of course weight gain and overall deterioration of physical condition. In addition there is increasing evidence from numerous studies that sitting long hours on the same position increases up to 50% the chances of developing cardiovascular disease and even various forms of cancer.
However, the pace of today’s society leads us down a path that makes us spend more and more hours sitting without performing any physical effort. It’s true that there is a growing interest in certain sports such as running, but make no mistake, people who run marathons is still a minority. The vast majority of people, sadly, do not exercise for a healthy life. In fact, according to research by the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC), in collaboration with the European Heart Network (EHN), 42% of those over 18 in Spain declares not performing any physical activity during the week, compared to 6% in Sweden or Finland 7%.
All this should make us reflect and ask ourselves how can we improve the way we work and spend our leisure time. Fortunately more and more people become aware of this problem and now more and more initiatives arise trying to adapt offices and workplaces to allow us to do some kind of exercise while working. Let’s review some of them.
1. Standing Desks
Studies alert (https://www.elmundo.es/salud/2014/07/02/53b3e12b22601dc83b8b4572.html) that spending many hours sitting is itself a cardiovascular risk factor independent of the level of exercise you perform because different metabolic processes are altered. To avoid this standing desks arose, which allow us to perform our tasks comfortably while standing.
In some offices are gaining ground as floating workplaces which are occupied by a single worker at the same time during limited intervals before continuing his work in his usual desk, going to be occupied later by another team mate. Thus each member of the team or department alternate time spent standing and sitting.
2. Height Adjustable Desks
They are an evolution of the previous standing desks and allow us standing or sitting in the same workplace with just flipping a simple mechanism, so we can go alternating intervals while seated and others standing with no computer or phone exchanges, and no need to make any changes to our desk.
3. Treadmill desks
Surely these will seem the most geek, but it’s not unreasonable to think that we will soon see its presence in all the offices of our environment, as they are perfect for moderate physical activity (it’s not cool sweating your keyboard and all your papers) while doing your work.
4. Machines for seated pedaling
This is perhaps the simplest form of exercise while working, as it only requires a small device to pedal under our table. You will continue to work sitting, but at least you will move as you do.
5. Applications that alert us that we are sitting too long
As it couldn’t be easy to introduce any of the above alternatives in your office, you can always choose an application to tell you, or even prevent you from continue working if you don’t have a break from time to time in which you take a ride to stretch your legs.
Finally, don’t miss my Pinterest board with the most bizarre ideas imaginable to make our work more fun and healthy.