The desk job is much vaunted in the U.S. for offering, among other alleged perks, the benefit of being able to sit all day. But while this may seem more comfortable and less draining than standing or running around, such a sedentary existence can bring significant negative health consequences in the long-term.
While there is no shortage of news articles and studies highlighting the modern problem of “over-sitting” — see here, here, and here — the following video does a good job of summarizing why our bodies are so susceptible to this comfy practice and what we can do about it.
In essence, our bodies were not evolved for so little movement over a long period of time. Everything from out skeletal and muscular system, to even our blood circulation, depends on regular doses of activity, even if it just standing, stretching, or walking.
As someone who went from seven years of working the fast-paced world of retail, to now a little over two years at a desk job, I can definitely feel the difference in my health. Were it not for regularly thirty-minute intervals of stretching and standing, as well as two to three walks around the block each day during work, I would likely be in a lot worse shape (as I had been before I learned these things and started trying to counteract them).
I owe it to my job for allowing such freedom of movement, as not enough workplaces do so despite the known risks. More employers should implement worksite wellness programs or at least allow their employees an opportunity to step out for walks, stretches, and light aerobics.
I shall reflect on these things as I go for my second walk. Feel free to weigh in as always.