If you sit more than six hours a day, you should know that your sedentary office desk could be slowly wheeling you to an early grave. A study by Medicine and Science monitored 17,000 individuals (men and women) over a duration of 13 years. The findings indicated that people who sat in front of a computer for more than six hours a day were 54 percent more likely to suffer deaths from heart attacks than people whose jobs involve moving around.
So, what is the solution? If your work involves sitting at a desk for six hours or more, here are ways a simple desk could add years to your life:
Use a Standing Desk
A standing desk allows you to lower or raise your working platform using an electronic mechanism or a small mechanical knob. A height adjustable table is a great option as it allows you to phase in standing periods until your body fully adjusts to this new posture.
Some office workers have opted to take a DIY approach to turn into upstanding employees using TV dinner trays, boxes, chairs, and coffee tables to help raise their computers. It’s okay to test the waters using one of these methods before you invest in a proper standing desk.
Research has indicated that people using standing desks are less likely to be obese. It’s simply because standing burns about 50 calories every hour. Additionally, sedentary muscles release less lipoprotein lipase. People using standing desks also experience a lower risk of suffering Type 2 Diabetes. According to a study in 2008, people who sat for longer periods recorded a significantly higher fasting blood glucose level since their cells became less responsive to insulin.
Improve your Posture
Other than using a standing desk, you can adjust your sitting position to improve ergonomics. Pull your chair a part from the desk and sit in a comfortable position. It’s more like sitting in your car with your feet resting on the floor in front of the chair, your hands on your lap, and the shoulders fully relaxed as you lean back a little bit. This is your natural posture that allows your vertebrae to be stacked, your pelvis positioned properly so that your spine is comfortably stacked, and your entire back moves smoothly as you breathe.
Place your Keyboard and Mouse Strategically
The placement your mouse and keyboard should be in such a way that your elbows remain on your sides and your arms stay at an angle of 90 degrees or below. This reduces muscle load and strains. The keyboard should be positioned about 1 to 2 inches above the thighs. Having a pull-out keyboard tray is an easier way to achieve that.
Additionally, allow the keyboard to have a negative tilt, meaning that it should slope down and away from your body so that your arms and hands follow the downward tilt of your thighs.
Ergonomics play a critical role in improving your overall health and, by extension, adding years to your life. Ensure that you sit on the right chair that supports your back, your posture, and your bottom. The shape should allow your tailbone to stick out a little and your vertebrae make a slight curve.