We have been providing chiropractic in downtown San Francisco for over 20 years. The majority of our patients spend the day at a desk in front of a computer, sometimes under enormous amounts of stress.
We have always known that sitting for long periods doing repetitive motions (in a static position) can lead to back, neck and wrist pain. Chiropractic adjustments, proper ergonomics, micro-breaks, and stress management techniques (such as meditation and visualization) help to counter these stresses.
But now there is overwhelming evidence in the form of recent research results that implicate sitting for long periods with increased risk of heart disease. It seems that sitting for extended periods promotes a particular form of fat formation around the heart that stays in place even with regular exercise. Now that's scary.
The only solution appears to be increasing your level of movement. Walking more, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing aerobic exercise daily vs. just 3x per week. Heck, they are even making treadmill desks and fitting offices with life cycles and indoor tracks. In fact, I predict that the workplace of the future will look more like a health club than an office.
There will be treadmills and bikes that are computerized. You will enter your PIN# so that you can do work while doing MANDATORY exercise. This will end up reducing health care costs because we will have a healthier work force. More large corporations will move to self insurance or will be able to negotiate more affordable insurance premiums because their employees will have lower risk profiles.
Anyway, this is all well and good, but what should you do right now to reduce the likelihood of heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders, or other diseases that may result from lack of motion?
Here's what I think:
1. See a chiropractor 2-4x per month.
2. Workout with weights or resistance 3-4x per week for at least 30 minutes.
3. Do Aerobic exercise at least 5 days per week.
4. Walk whenever you can
5. Take the stairs frequently.
6. Take 10 minute breaks every hour and walk around and stretch. Your chiropractor can teach you stretches you can do at your desk and during your power walks.
7. Drink the equivalent of 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day.
8. Eat primarily plant foods as the Typical American Diet is highly inflammatory. Our best resource for plant based nutrition is Dr. John McDougall, MD .
9. Consider a treadmill desk or bike if you have the means.