How To Maintain Good Health For People Who Sit For Long Periods Of Time?

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Office syndrome is caused by sitting in the same position (like at a desk in the office) for an extended period. Increased working hours, bad posture, and constantly tilting your head downwards can cause muscle spasm in the neck. If this is not taken care of, it can lead to chronic problems.

Some major symptoms of office syndrome are shoulder and neck pain, headache, back and hip stiffness, abdominal discomfort, and dry eyes.

According to research conducted at Cornell University, sitting for longer than 20 minutes at a time can cause musculoskeletal problems.  People who sit for long periods of time are twice as likely to develop heart diseases. Prolonged sitting decreases insulin level thus increasing the risk of diabetes. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that sitting for longer may even increase the odds for an untimely death.

Tips For People With Desk Jobs:

  1. Take care of your posture. Your upper and lower back should be supported equally. Adjust your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor. If your feet do not reach the floor, use a footrest. Adjust your armrest so your shoulders are relaxed.  


  1. Adjust your monitor’s height so that the screen is at or slightly below eye level. Your eyes should be slightly downwards when you are looking in the middle of the screen. The monitor should be at least an arm’s length away from you. Make sure there is adequate lightning to reduce eye fatigue. Use the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes a break. This means, after every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.


  1. Set reminders to move around frequently and avoid sitting on your office seat for more than an hour. According to Harvard School of Public Health, physical activity, even for short periods of time can improve your mood. There are some break reminder apps that can alert you to move around, and they also provide no sweat exercise videos if you are not able to leave your desk.


  1. Do stretches like shrugging your shoulders, squeezing your shoulder backwards and rotating your shoulders. You can also stretch your neck by slowly turning your face all the way to the right, count till five and then repeat on the left side. Stretching at work decreases neck spasms and helps alleviate mental stress.


  1. Avoid eating junk food. Keep nutritious and healthy snacks like unsalted nuts and fruits in your office drawers.


  1. Keep taking small sips of water throughout the day.


  1. Holding urine for long periods of time can cause urinary tract infections, kidney stones and can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Make sure you keep passing urine at regular intervals
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