These days a lot of people work from their computers in an office or at home, and the normal position for computer work is to sit at a desk. The problem with this is that sitting isn’t the best position for your body, and can actually cause many muscular imbalances and tightness that lead to pain and/or injury. If you never plan on moving this probably isn’t a problem for you, but if you like to keep yourself in shape, sitting at a desk can be extremely detrimental to your health and fitness progress. What happens is your hips are fixed at 90 degrees for a prolonged period of time, and your muscles get used to being in that position. Then when you decide to get up and move, your muscles are so accustomed to being in that sitting position that they won’t function properly while standing and moving around. Your hip flexors (see pic below) will be shortened and tight, and your glutes and hamstrings will be lengthened and tight. A shortened or lengthened muscle will not function properly, and that can lead to pain and potentially injury once you start moving.
Something YOU NEED to look into to keep your body functioning properly if you do a lot of work on a computer is using a standing desk. I’m a HUGE advocate of the standing desk because I have had back pain from injuries, and when I sit all day the back paid get worse and re-agrivates the injuries during exercise, but the addition of a standing desk, wearing minimalist shoes (including Five Fingers), and using a foam roller has almost completely eliminated the pain and tightness.
When you first start using a standing desk there will be an adaptation period where your body will actually hurt more. This is due to the de-conditioning that happens from spending so much time sitting. Just make sure that when you’re standing at your new desk that your feet are about shoulder width apart, pointing straight forward, and your knees are not locked out (and take your shoes off if it’s not too weird to do so at your place of work). Also, make sure to stand tall with perfect shoulder posture the whole time your at the desk.
A lot of companies will actually install a desk that you can adjust into a standing or seated height, all you have to do is ask. If you work for someone else (are not self employed) ask about getting a standing desk TODAY!
If you work for yourself or are responsible for creating your own standing desk here are a few places to buy standing desks:
You can also get innovative and use any table or counter that is close to belly button height. I have a countertop bar in my kitchen that works great when I work from home.
I find that so many times we take our bodies for granted, and rarely even think about how we feel on a regular basis. I’m here to remind you that we only have ONE body for our whole life! Because of that don’t you think that you should pay attention, and take note when things don’t feel right? I say “get anal” and hold your posture perfect whenever you think about it, and do the extra little things (like getting a standing desk) that will pay off huge in the long run (long run meaning around one month and for the rest of your life!). Then spread the love and teach others how to hold themselves accountable! Lead the charge for your peer group!
As always if you have any questions drop them in the comments section below or email me.
Now get outside and have fun by working hard! 🙂