In the dental profession we sit all day, and everyday. If we do have to stand for a patient we can feel it right away in our neck, back and shoulders from leaning over for 40 minutes. We prefer to sit and sitting helps us reach proper ergonomics to avoid work place injuries. But, what about all the negative health effects of sitting? Has anyone thought of that?
Studies show that sitting for too long can increase our risk for a number of diseases including diabetes, heart disease and not to mention excessive weight gain. This is due to the simple fact that if we are sitting, we are not being active. If we are not being active, we are not as healthy as we could be. It is said that the human race isn't meant to sit, at least not for the average 5 hours a day that studies suggest.
The computer and internet are part of our regular daily activities, so even for those people who don't sit all day at work they are probably coming home and sitting all night at the computer. Who doesn't want to 'sit after a long day at work'?. Who doesn't want to 'just relax and watch TV on the couch after working all day'? I know I do! After working all day the last thing I want to do is go for a jog or walk around all night.
Standing all day simply isn't possible and in my opinion if we did stand all day we would have OTHER health issues to deal with. But having that said, I think we need to reduce the number of hours spent sitting because it's no doubt harming us.
What I do:
1. I stand at my desk from time to time when at home - I bought a desk that has an upper part to it, where I can easily move my lap top around and stand for a period of time (I'm standing while I write this article). Desk seen here if interested.
2. Studies suggest getting up every half an hour for a quick walk around or take a break. So, every half an hour I DO get up to either get water, stretch or run in place while at home.
3. While working in the dental office I know I can't get up every half an hour (patient appointments are 40 minutes each) but after the appointment I need to clean the tray in the 'sterile bay area' so this is my walking and break.
4. At lunch I walk around after eating my food for at least 30 minutes (if I have a hour lunch that day haha) and if at home I run up and down the stairs 10 times (try it! you will sure feel the burn)
Little steps at a time but with all the studies and research I have been reading about why sitting can be so harmful, I want to make the effort to improve. The little things anyone can do will help! Do you have any tips you would like to share? Comment below :).
My name is Andrea Twarowski, owner and operator of Dentalelle Tutoring.