The Damaging Effects of Technology Addiction to a Sedentary Society
We are a technological society. As the use of technology rises, we see an increase in time spent being sedentary, and an increase in health issues related to a sedentary lifestyle. Let’s face it, we are
addicted to technology! We’re addicted and we aren’t getting better. Young adults are checking their phones an average of 150-times per day! The increase in prevalence of mobile device usage is correlated with the rise of mental health issues in the youth. Not only mental health, but physical health as well. Because most mobile devices and common technology are used from a sitting position, there is an increase in physical health issues associated with sitting.
Most people spend their time at work, or school, in a seated position. They sit in their cars on the way home, sit down to dinner, and sit to watch TV in the evenings. All this sitting is causing us a lot of health issues. A new condition called ‘Text Neck Syndrome’ is categorized by pain in the neck and upper back, and is caused by the position that we hold when looking down at a screen in our hand. The human head may not look big but, on average, it weighs between 10 and 12lbs. The spine and associated musculature is designed to deal with this weight in an upright position. Unfortunately, for each degree your head moves forward the weight on the spinal joints and muscles are exponentially increased. For example, 15-degrees of forward movement and the pressure on the spine is now 27lbs!
All this time sitting is wreaking havoc on more than just our spines. Sitting is leaving us with chronically short and tight hip flexors (which may be associated with back pain), weight gain from being sedentary, poor circulation, muscle weakness from lack of use, and pain from poor posture. There is even a link between diabetes and total time spent sitting!
Unfortunately, most people have jobs in which they remain seated. How do we combat this?
How Standing Desks Can Help when your Job Entails Looking at a Screen All Day
It’s time to stand up… at your desk! A great option for those that work from a computer is to have a taller desk that allows you to stand while you work. Standing workstations can improve posture and reduce posture related pain and discomfort. Standing also burns more calories than sitting and can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease due to the increased activity that standing allows for. In fact, standing allows you to engage the core and back muscles (which are disengaged when a chair holds you up). This increase in muscle activation is what helps you burn more calories and improves circulation.
You don’t need a specialized desk designed to be used as a standing workstation. You can test out a standing desk by propping your computer up on some books or boxes. Give it a try for a day and see how you feel. You should notice that your calves, quads, and glutes are working more, and you will be more likely to notice when your posture starts to slump!
Give a standing desk try and let us know how your experience went in the comments below.