October 05, 2016

Hey there workout warriors.  I salute your commitment to your health!  You eat right.  You take your supplements.  You work out.  And it’s not easy carving an entire hour out of each day – especially when that hour is spent punishing yourself with burpees, squats and endless attacks on your mid-line! 

But what if I told you that despite your healthy habits and avid devotion to your daily thrashing WOD, you’re likely living a sedentary lifestyle?  As it turns out, if you’re the average American worker, you probably spend 13 to 14 hours a day in a seated position - and that, my friends, is a sedentary lifestyle!  Just think about your typical day: 

      • You wake up
      • You sit down to eat breakfast
      • You sit down to take $*%#
      • You sit down to drive to work
      • You sit down at your desk
      • You sit down to eat lunch
      • You sit down at your desk some more
      • You sit down for meetings
      • You sit down and do Preacher Curls
      • You sit down to drive home
      • You sit down to eat dinner
      • You sit down to relax in front of the TV
      • You sit down in front of your computer/tablet
      • You go to bed

 And by now I’m sure most of you know the risks.  We’ve all heard the moniker: “Sitting is the new smoking,” and the point is well documented.  Excessive sitting can lead to a multitude of problems, not the least of which include a significantly increased risk of chronic disease (Diabetes, Heart disease, Cancer, etc.), reduced metabolic function, anxiety & depression, and more.  And sadly, working out for an hour each day isn’t enough to counteract these risks.  

But if you’re a CrossFitter, it gets even worse.

As an athlete (yes you), you have an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury, because
you’re simply asking your body to do more than the average person.  This is a good thing!  One of the great benefits of CrossFit is that it requires you to recapture and engage the full and natural function of your human body (thanks for nothing, Desk!).  CrossFit injuries typically don’t occur because the moves are inherently dangerous.  Injuries occur because your body has not yet reclaimed the capacity and mobility it needs to perform those moves properly. 

And nothing hinders your natural human capacity like sitting!

Let’s quickly review some of the specific orthopedic problems that can result from sitting:
      • Tight hip flexors & psoas
      • Misaligned hips and locked Pelvis
      • Back pain or injury
      • Forward head tilt, causing neck issues
      • Tight shoulders
      • Tight Thoracic Spine
      • Trouble with overhead position
      • Tight hamstrings
      • Inactive glutes
      • Musculoskeletal atrophy & degeneration of joint tissue

So given that we understand the risk we take by sitting too much, what can you do?  Since systems are far more effective than will-power at creating sustainable habits, instead of simply saying “I will stand more,” let’s try establishing some rules and strategies for maximizing your daily movement (and getting off your ass):

  1. The K-Star Rule – Mobility guru Kelly Starrett has a rule for his kids: they can only watch TV if they are (a) standing, (b) squatting or (c) sitting in the lotus position (legs crossed)
  2. Password Therapy –Try changing your passwords to something like: “Time2Stand.” Now you have a regular reminder get out of that chair.  (More about “Password Therapy”)
  3. Take Your Meetings To Go – Hold walking meetings. You’ll feel better AND you’ll think clearer.  No PowerPoint necessary.
  4. Stand During Calls – No explanation necessary, except that you can probably apply this rule to other tasks, as well. Texting, Facebook, Twitter, watching a video, etc.
  5. Set A Rolling Timer – At the very least, make sure you stand up and move once every half hour. Even just a minute or two can have a profound effect (although I encourage more than that).  Or if you feel saucy, drop into a couch stretch!
  6. Buy Yourself A Standing Desk – It’s hard to find a purchase that offers a greater return for your hard earned $, than a standing desk. The value is insane.  It helps you lose weight, gain energy, feel better, avoid injury, stress less, get more done, think more clearly... you get it.  So skip the nice jeans or expensive shoes for a couple months, and Invest in yourself!

Turns out the benefits go beyond just injury prevention.  Minimizing sitting and adding movement to your day has the added benefit of helping you feel better AND get more done.  In fact, a recent study demonstrated a 46% productivity increase when workers used a standing desk!  How would you like to get 46% more done in a day?  So I strongly encourage you to take action!  And keep in mind that excess sitting is more than just a personal issue – It’s a public health crisis.  So be a part of the solution, and help get your friends moving, too.

Brian

Founder – Standing Desk Nation

 

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