How Does Sitting While Working Affect Your Physical Health?

woman with neck pain

When you think of getting in great shape and improving your health, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind?

For most people, their minds begin to fill with scenes of running on a treadmill, lifting heavy weights, visiting the chiropractor and eating healthy. Although these scenarios all lead to a healthy lifestyle, there’s something that most of us don’t think about until it’s too late: our posture while sitting.

Every second of your life is dictated by your posture and your ability to hold yourself upright. 

If you’re seated for most of the day, you may be ruining your health in the process. From the hours sitting in an office chair to how you relax and watch a movie while lounging on the couch, posture is everything.

  • Neck and Back Pain

This may seem obvious, but many of us don’t think that sitting can be the cause of neck and back pain. There are thousands of people that now work from home instead of at an office due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, that has led many of us to develop bad habits.

If you find yourself sitting for +8 hour workdays with poor posture, you may be contributing to your neck or back pain. It’s challenging to combat this since people don’t typically view ‘sitting’ as something that can hurt you. Moderation is key when it comes to posture. 

Small amounts of bad posture usually won’t do much long-term damage to your body. However, sitting for years with bad posture can compound over time and lead to health problems and injuries.

Professional chiropractors and other doctors suggest moving as much as you can. This can mean going on 10 minute walks each hour to keep your joints and muscles loose. You can also invest in a standing desk, which allows you to work at home while standing tall. 

Whichever solution you decide to try out, make sure it is the right fit for you and your needs.

  • Poor Digestion

woman holding a flower
Photo by Frank Flores on Unsplash

Do you have trouble using the restroom or experience excessive gas from time to time? Although these experiences are normal, chronic digestion ailments have a direct link to your overall posture. 

Data from a study conducted by R. Dainese, J. Serra, F. Azpiroz, and J-R Malagelada found that individuals with poor posture habits experience chronic flatulence, stomach cramps and irritable bowel more than their peers. 

Although we won’t go into the technical details of their findings, improving your posture may help you in the bathroom.

  • Irregular Sleep Patterns

Struggling to fall asleep at the end of the day is, without a doubt, a problem that millions of people face nightly. With data suggesting that 30% to 60% of the global population struggles with insomnia, we’re desperate to find new ways to fall asleep and recharge our batteries for the following day. Lucky for us, there’s a new way.

For most individuals, their restless nights are directly related to the poor posture they practice throughout their waking hours. 

From hunching over a keyboard to poking our heads forward to read the small print on our phones, our sleep is suffering as a result. When you strain and tense the muscles in your neck, upper back and upper buttocks through bad posture, you toss and turn when it comes time to fall asleep.

  • Oxygen Distribution & Airflow Through Lungs

woman with open arms
Photo by JM Lova on Unsplash

Lastly, sitting for too long has a detrimental influence on our system, and this effect gets amplified when we’re seated with poor posture. 

To illustrate airflow restriction from a seated posture, consider the following scenario: John wants to water his lawn, but he notices that there’s a slight kink in his hose. Thinking nothing of it, he continues with his chores and ignores the poor water flow. 

Although this experience is nothing to worry about momentarily, this will lead to damage to his home’s waterline in subsequent months. Similarly, when we’re scrunched up in a chair for hours on end, we’re restricting the natural flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout our system. 

If you experience these symptoms regularly, your posture is the culprit:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Poor focus
  • Sadness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Brain fog
  • Labored breathing
  • Lightheadedness

If you want to be all that you can be, take a leap by using a standing desk, or at the very least, correct your posture. We know the transition is difficult to make, but you’ll be glad you did.

Make the Transition Today

If you’re seeking a new way to improve your health, the solution is right under your nose. Literally. 

Modifying your posture is a great way to improve your cardiovascular efficiency, breathe easier, and feel great throughout the day. Whether you’re a newcomer to the world of fitness or a seasoned veteran, changing the way you sit is an essential component of a well-lived life. 

Don’t wait until you’re suffering from the side effects of poor posture and start today.

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