9 to 5 Culture

Sedentary Workers

Where do people spend the most time being inactive? Here’s a hint for you: it is not in front of the TV after a day at the office. No, it’s actually AT the office. Many of us work 8, 9 or more hours a day and spend a great majority of that time just sitting. All that sitting cannot be contributing well to the health of our country.

The human body is not designed to sit all day. We have strong leg muscles, tendons and bones so that we can move, run, jump, and be active. All these back problems that we are seeing may just be the result of an overly inactive working population. Back in your great-grandfathers’ day there were fewer jobs that required sitting in one spot from sunrise to sunset. At least in the assembly lines there would be a certain use of one’s muscles, albiet the same ones over and over. This repetitive motion may not be all that great for you either, but at least it is motion of some kind.

“But sitting is a requirement of the job!”

Yeah, and maybe it is. But there are ways of getting at least some excercise during the day.

You can at least get out of your chair a few times a day to make some laps to the water cooler. I used to make the very healthy habit of eating at my desk 15 minutes BEFORE my lunch break, then I would spend my ACTUAL lunch break walking downtown for a half hour. This was the best I could do, given the circumstances of having 100% of my work on the computer. The other thing I would do is take the stairs to the elevators (which was a 3 story climb) instead of the escalators. Taking the stairs instead of walking on a treadmill at the gym for fifteen minutes after work is a great idea. Not only will you be getting your excercise on company time instead of your time, but you will also feel more energized while sitting all day in your chair.

This in turn may help you work and type faster and, as a result, get your work done and go home earlier. And over time, you won’t be quite as fat as you might have been. And speaking of fat, take a good look around you at the office. Notice any rather large problems with your co-workers? I doubt many of their waistlines have benefitted from all their stimulating activity on the phones and PCs. And with all that lack of energy, you wonder if they go home and stare at another screen for the remainder of the evening before doing it all again.

Now, I’m not saying that the office 8-to-5 lifestyle contributes to obesity in the country. Oh no. I’m saying that it just may be THE biggest cause.


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