Fear of the outside! How much time do you spend at your desk?

Fear of the outside! How much time do you spend at your desk?

Those of working age can spend over half the waking day at work and for many that means much of this time spent inside at a desk in an office. We have all experienced the disappointment of being cooped up in the office on a beautiful summer afternoon but also the relief of not being outside on a cold, windy and rainy day. At times staying in the office appears a wise move, but is it really?

Over many years of working offices I noticed that many people never left the office, firstly they never left the office to go outside but also frequently they never really left their desk… not even for lunch. It's not to say my colleagues would not move for a meeting or get their food from the canteen, but they would then return to the desk for their lunch break.

This is understandable on those days where the wind is howling and the rain is driving, but it’s a dangerous habit to develop. If we are not careful the net result is that you never move from a seated position. This position becomes our default, we become 'adapted' to this position.

So what do I mean by a 'seated position'.

I am referring to a shoulders forward, head over the chest, with the upper thoracic spine curved, ones hip flexors in flexion and the glutes turned off. This position becomes many individuals default position for everything… sleep, walking, running, even lifting weights. The danger comes particularly when you start loading a movement pattern like this, as the spine is out of position, the muscles and ligaments are tight, so injury is not far. Sadly, for some this could lead to early issues with pelvic floor weakness as the hips are being used correctly. Finally, because the diaphram is compromised there can be issues with developing bad breathing habits. There are also metabolic consequences to inactivity leading to increased weight gain, loss of lean muscle and increase in fat percentage.

Wow! Sorry this sounds quite bleak but fear not there is an alternative and it doesn’t take too much effort. Where the effort lies is in cultivating a habit and approach to movement throughout your day. At first it’ll be pretty difficult to implement but eventually you’ll crave the opportunity to get out and about.

I've created a handy introduction to a daily movement practice, link below, which outlines exercises and techniques to develop a positive daily movement habit. Trust me if you do theses exercises every day for two weeks you'll really feel a difference. You have the power to take control of your own health!

Paul



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