As radiologists, we spend far too much time every day reading back injuries, so many of which are preventable. One simple solution: Take a break from sitting down so much!
It can seem nearly impossible to convert some sedentary jobs into standing ones based on office policies and equipment availabilities. In order to manage a situation that IS “unavoidable” there are some ways to fight back. As explained in a recent article in the LA Times, getting up and moving around on regular intervals can do wonders.
There are also workarounds for the seating issue: “I’ve been known to take a wrench to work and remove the arms of my chair so I could sit in lotus position at my desk. Luckily, I’ve had bosses who were either very kindly tolerant... or not too observant,” says a cubicle worker named Rachel, with a wink and a grin.
“Sitting is the new smoking.”
The list of painful results from a lifestyle of consistent sitting have lead to the expression “sitting is the new smoking.” That is to say, it’s too common and most people who do it somehow consider themselves the exception to the rule when they are, in fact, demonstrating the rule.
In a TEDx talk by Pack Matthews, Sitting Is the New Smoking (but You’ve Got Options), we learned a simple trick for measuring the impact of sitting on your life. On the ten point scale demonstrated in the video, can you raise and lower yourself to sitting cross-legged using your legs alone? Kudos to one of the radiologists here who scored a 10 in heels (ahem, show-off!) and another colleague who struggled is deeply motivated to correct her situation.
Armed with this knowledge about your legs, spine and general health, we hope you’ll rethink your sitting to standing ratio and enjoy better health. Give yourself a little test (but you don’t have to do it in heels) and make yourself a goal of ten. Happy standing to you!
Image Credit: conference room stretching by synergy programs
Originally published 5/29/13 on diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com