How Your Desk Job Is Slowly Killing You; Tools to Get You Moving


Most likely, you are sitting at a desk reading this story on a computer screen. Well, take heed: prolonged daily sitting reduces your life expectancy considerably. And this is the case even if you get regular exercise, a medical online journal warns.

An online journal, BMJ Open, states that if you sit for more than three hours a day, your life expectancy is lowered by about two years. Adding another couple of hours of watching TV daily can take off another 1.4 years.

That statement alone is enough to make you sit up straight and want to get up on your feet. This is not the first research to corroborate these conclusions:

1. Australia’s Sax Institute also said that even with exercise, sitting down for several hours a day could bring you to an early grave.

2. Another research team that tracked 123,000 Americans and found the death rate for those who spent six or more hours a day sitting was 20% higher than for men who sat for three hours or less. For women, the difference was 40%.

Wow. I think I’ll finish writing this story on my feet. 

For many of you with your enviable corner offices and large flat-screen computers, you appropriate a majority of your day with your posterior parked at your desk. Now you read this and shot of alarm races through your bloodstream. ‘What do I do if my job requires me to sit at my desk all day?’

Experts have some suggestions:

1. Try standing up as much as you can, like when you’re talking on the phone.

2. Reduce the times you just email, ‘ping’ or call your co-workers; get up and go over and talk to them. It might even improve communication too. What a concept.

3. Employers can assist by allotting time for short walks everyday.

4. Though they are moderately expensive, employers can consider bringing in tools like standup desks, or the treadmill desk.

5. You can use fitness gadgets like the FitBit UltraMotoActv, and the Nike+ Fuel Band, to name a few. They’ll all help keep track of your steps and let you know when its time to get up and start moving.

They key is to get up and get moving at regular intervals. The body is most alive, vibrant and strongest when it is in motion. Period. Conversely your body tends to deteriorate (or to be blunt, rot) when it is stationary for prolonged periods on a daily basis.

If you want to live longer, you have to move more — and that means more than your typing fingers.

terry shropshire

Terry Shropshire
Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.