What Sitting at Your Desk Can Really Do to Your Body!

Don't let pain become a regular part of your work day.

Many working adults spend upwards of six to eight hours each day sitting behind a desk. Although you may feel fine physically, your desk job may be negatively affecting your health in several ways. Dr. Michael Venice, a Naprapath at the Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern, weighs in on ergonomics, how your desk job can affect your health, and five things you can do to counteract the effects in your busy life.

Get Up! Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a fatal condition caused by blood clots in the muscle. Immobility is a major risk factor, thus placing desk dwellers in danger. Stand up, stretch, and move around every 40 minutes to keep blood flowing.

Be Conscious of Your Posture. Avoid placing too much stress on one specific area of the body and remember to turn your whole body (as opposed to twisting) to face your work.

Reassess Your Work Space. Do improper tools cause you pain or prevent you from working to your fullest? Reassess your desk to see if there are elements you can change or improve such as rearranging the layout of your workspace or investing in ergonomic office products.

Practice Proper Nutrition. When it comes to a desk job, your schedule generally determines when (and what) you eat. Fast food is an all too common choice. Though proper nutrition is always important, it is stressed even more when you spend a good portion of your day at a desk. Pack a healthy lunch to save money, cut calories, and boost overall health.

Don’t Ignore Your Pain. If you experience pain that just won’t quit, don’t write it off as “part of the job.” Dr. Venice treats a number of patients who complain of tension headaches and neck and back pain due to poor posture and as a result of their sedentary desk job.

“Being conscious of your workspace and how it affects your body is much more important than many people realize,” says Dr. Venice. “Reassess your space and your habits to see how they can be improved, but don’t ignore your body if pain becomes a regular part of your work day.”