If you are a full time employee, the one thing you probably do the most is sitting down. Official data shows that around 60% of the workforce in Sri Lanka are office workers, which means the majority remains mostly seated.
An office worker without a computer is a rarity today. While a computer has saved a lot of time, it has also made us less active as human beings. This has, sadly, made the time we spend at office quite unhealthy. Almost all paperwork and communications have shifted to digital means today.
This has been going on for a while, and it is time that we take a stand against this “sit-down” culture.
Who Has The Highest Tendency To Sit Excessively?
Beyond the usual office workers, almost all highly-skilled, well-paid professionals can be technically categorized as office workers. This is especially true for ICT and related professions where the majority of their work is done seated in front of a computer.
Professions in high demand today, such as graphic designers, video editors, accountants, web designers, network administrators, analysts, and bankers, are almost entirely reliant on a computer screen. Many other professions also expect workers to sit down all day. The computer enchants us into staying glued to our chairs for the entirety of our work lives. The saying that the “chair is the next cigarette”, summarizes the situation perfectly.
There is a clear correlation and causality between the extent computers are used, and the duration a worker remains seated, as shown by numerous studies.
This Is An Already Well-Known Dilemma!
We asked a few office workers what they think are health issues related to work life, and most of the answers they gave us - knowingly or not - were actually related to staying seated continuously, and the resultant sedentary lifestyle.
“The biggest issue I have is my ever-growing waistline” - (a male professional at an executive position)
“I get a bad backache by the evening everyday” - (a girl who works as a typesetter)
“I easily lose my breath even after a short walk” - (head of a company)
“No matter how much I keep dieting, I gain weight” - (a woman who is an office worker)
“I get a nasty stomach cramp after lunch” - (a male video editor)
Do you know that these directly stem from them being seated for hours on end?
Growing waistlines and bellies are a direct result of being seated all day, in addition to leading a less active lifestyle. Nowadays, everything is clicks and keystrokes, where your whole body except your upper arms stay practically motionless.
The backaches are a similar issue. A bad chair, as well as the posture we choose could cause unbalanced strain on our spine. This results in nasty backaches.
The reason for losing one’s breath so easily is the chronic negligence of physical activity. A simple activity such as walking could therefore need heavy breathing to sustain.
The high calorie intake from constant coffee drinking means that having smaller portions for main meals isn’t as effective towards losing weight. Being seated all day also means that fat builds up everywhere instead of burning off.
Stomach cramps are typically a result of eating too much (specifically certain food types that cause high gas build up) and sitting down too soon. Walking for a few minutes after your meals, before a long work spell can be a good remedy.
Let’s Make A Stand Against This
So, how can we stand up to this? Let’s try to stay active as much as possible at work, which is not that hard. Let’s take an example: is it really so hard to go up or down a few flights of stairs? A simple walk through the stairs after your lunch could mean that you won’t have a nasty stomach cramp. Is the elevator ride from lunch worth it? You choose.
Be innovative with your seating posture, keeping your muscles active as much as possible. Stretching your arms and legs, working with your body twisted to a side, walking around a bit every hour or so can help a lot. Try walking more actively, rather than stumbling along: Throw your arms around, goose step, or even simple aerobics are great. It’s amazing how innovative you can be to get some exercise at your workplace.
These are great ways to go beyond a typical “chairperson” - pun intended - but if you expect to have a truly healthy life, you should do more.
How To Balance A Healthy Life And A Professional Career In The Long Run?
You really need to take a stand for your own health, and it is probably late already. Set aside some time to keep your body active everyday. Joining a gym is great, but an exercise machine can help too. A reputed credit card can get you a hassle-free easy payment scheme for a good one. Still feel like it’s not a worthy spend? Your sedentary lifestyle is wrecking your body, and you’ll soon need to pay your doctors much more. Spend now, and save a fortune in the future. Sounds fair?
Managing your calorie intake is always important. A good restaurant will allow you to choose good food with known calorie amounts, which also taste far better. Did you know that becoming a customer at a reputed bank makes them truly affordable? Help yourself with some good food once in a while.
Taking a “real leave’ is important. A real leave is not just a day off from work to do something else, it’s for you to spend your time in leisure. Resorts throughout Sri Lanka, as well as overseas, can rejuvenate you from your habitual long work time. If you browse around, getting far better deals is not hard.
A spa treatment can rejuvenate your body and mind to a level never experienced before. There are great deals for members of certain organizations where well-trained, professional masseuses do a great job at helping you relax.
In summary, let’s just say that maybe it is time for you to do more for your own body.
To discover some pretty amazing benefits waiting just for you, sign up here.
Cover Image: apss.co.uk