Combat Chronic Sitting with 10-Minute Exercise Snacks, Suggests Therapist

Chronic Sitting

Combat Chronic Sitting with 10-Minute Exercise Snacks, Suggests Therapist

seat can move in all directions. They are also height-adjustable to accommodate different desk heights. We found this popular wobble stool that provides all of these features and more, including a cushioned seat for comfort.

Sitting for extended periods has been recognized as a significant health risk, leading to various physical ailments and discomforts. Orthopedic physical therapist, Theresa Marko, who is also a board-certified member of the American Physical Therapy Association, has highlighted the adverse effects of chronic sitting on overall health and circulation. From an orthopedic perspective, she notes that prolonged sitting can damage joints, muscles and over time, can lead to chronic pain and limited mobility, especially in areas like the lumbar spine and hip flexors.

Marko’s primary solution to counter these negative effects is simple – movement. She suggests integrating physical activity into the workday in manageable ways. One such method is what she calls ‘exercise snacks.’ These are short 10-minute exercise breaks every one or two hours where you can perform light exercises such as squats, stretches, or a quick walk before returning to your desk.

The therapist also shared her insights on popular at-desk exercise tools and workspace additions. One such tool is the electric height adjustable standing desk. These desks offer enhanced stability with four programmable height settings, allowing you to easily switch between sitting and standing positions. They come in various sizes and finishes to suit individual needs and preferences.

Marko believes that standing while working can be beneficial as it provides an opportunity to change positions and stretch out. However, she warns that standing for extended periods can be uncomfortable and suggests using foam pads for cushioning and body weight shifting. She also advises alternating leg positions and elevating the foot occasionally to change the hip position.

For those who already have a desk, Marko recommends using an adjustable desk riser to convert it into a sit stand desk. These risers are versatile and support dual working spaces for both sitting and standing. They can be extended pneumatically and can bear weights up to 33 pounds.

Walking pads have become a popular addition to many work-from-home setups. These pads offer quiet speeds that can be controlled using a remote or your feet, and are equipped with rollers for easy maneuvering. They can also be folded compactly for storage when not in use. However, Marko cautions against their use if you have balance issues or preexisting conditions that could make it unsafe for you, as most of them lack safety rails.

Another popular at-desk exercise tool is the under-desk bike. Marko uses a folding bike for her ‘exercise snacks.’ These bikes offer adjustable seats and resistance levels, and some even provide useful tracking features like distance biked and calories burned. They are compact and easy to store when not in use.

All these tools aim to promote movement while working, reducing the ill effects of chronic sitting. However, Marko emphasizes the importance of choosing the best standing desk or other exercise tools that suit your needs and health conditions. She also recommends securing under-desk bikes against a wall during use to prevent slipping and considering the height of your desk while choosing one.

In conclusion, combating the effects of chronic sitting is possible with regular movement and the right tools. Whether it’s an electric stand up desk or a TV lift for better posture while watching television, every step towards a healthier work lifestyle counts.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

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