A 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Thirty-six percent (36%) of American adults reported sitting for eight or more hours per day. Nearly half of those individuals said they did little to no exercise on a weekly basis either.
The consequences of being sedentery are wide-reaching. Those who sit for more than eight hours per day are twice as likely to contract heart disease than people who sit for four hours or less. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that the risk of developing certain cancers (specifically lung, endometrial and colon cancer) is up to 66% higher in sedentary individuals versus those who only sit for four hours per day.
Governments around the world have started taking notice. Denmark, for instance, passed a law in 2015 mandating all office workers are provided height adjustable desks. There are campaigns called "Get America Standing" and "Get Britain Standing" to bring more awareness to the negative effects of sitting. But its estimated that only about 2% of American and 1% of UK office workers have access to standing desks. But that seems to be changing, especially in the Bay Area.
"The sit-to-stand desks are by far the most popular trend right now," said Joe Cain, a project manager for Eco Office. "These will soon be standard in every office."
Fortunately there are ways to mitigate the effects of sitting for long periods of time while America waits patiently for standing desks to become the norm.
Whether sitting, standing or lying down, good posture is essential to good health. All of said activities should always place minimal strain on muscles and joints, while not overcompensating. The non-profit Cleveland Clinic says good sitting posture helps prevent the onset of arthritis, reduces back and muscle pain, and prevents fatigue because muscles are being used efficiently.
Your back should always be straight, with your buttocks touching the back of the chair. Your feet should always be flat on the floor, with your knees in-line or slightly higher than the hips via a footrest. Stand up and walk to the break room, restroom, or anywhere every hour if possible. Otherwise just stand and stretch for a minute every hour.
A Medical News Today article reviewed by Dr. Greg Minnis provides excellent advice for those who spend hours per day in front of a computer screen. The monitor should be within reach of your hands while seated. Your neck should not have to bend upward or downward to see any part of the screen. Don't settle for just any keyboard and mouse. Try a few different ones out to determine which provide maximum comfort.
Back support is by far the most important aspect for good health. Don't have your chair raised so high that your feet dangle. Avoid slouching and/or sitting in a slumped position. Use hands-free devices for phone calls to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your neck trying to hold a phone in place.
Eco Office carries a wide variety of standing and height-adjustable desks. Call 510-369-3950 and one of our representatives will answer all your questions.-------------------------------
Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Sacramento with her husband, daughter, and two cats. Samantha writes for several retailers and mommy bloggers, and runs an e-commerce store.