The best way to aggravate back problems, lower back problems particularly, is to SIT for long periods. The worst thing to do in the morning after six or more hours of immobility is to SIT in front of your computer.
I incurred what I refer to as an under-use injury when I flew from Frankfurt to Toronto this fall and due to 8 hours of inactivity my sacroiliac joint locked up. If you use a laptop my tip is, move your laptop to a height from which you have to work from a standing position. Another benefit of standing while on-line is that you are less likely to find yourself aimlessly surfing or getting sidetracked in cyberspace.
Sitting at my desk for 7 hours of work aggravated this state-of-affairs and was at times painful. Naturally, I felt great when I was running, with its massaging motion! The sacroiliac joint eventually let up, in part due to a routine of regular walks at noon hour. It is my view that noon hour walks are one of the most under-used exercise opportunities there is. Lunch can be eaten prior to a walk with no digestive troubles and a quick lunch can leave you with up to 50 minutes for a brisk or leisurely walk. Whatever the pace, it is a quantum leap from the alternative of SITTING in a lunchroom to break up a day of SITTING at your desk or sitting in a lunchroom. I formed the habit of having a pair of running shoes designated for walking, by my desk. And you don’t have to miss out on socializing with workmates if you invite colleagues to join you.
When the weather worsens, I make use of my metropass to travel underground to different Starbuck’s locations. The air is not as fresh as an above ground walk but at least you are movin’ and have the chance to do some stair climbing.
I am a firm believer in taking a full hour for lunch when at all possible. I find the break, makes me far more productive in the afternoon. I would rather take that hour and stay late, when work piles up, than skimp on a lunch break. I have indulged in noon hour walks even on days when I have run a few miles in the morning and then 8 miles home from work. A walk is like a third workout for me while marathon training.
Too much SITTING when not balanced by movement is a degenerative activity and with the computer, left, right and centre of our lives, proactive measures are needed to counteract the ill effects of the inactivity it engenders.
It is no surprise that a so called, Fat Habit #3 has been identified by one writer as Not Multitasking While Watching TV. My mom had strong views about television. She once issued a list of shows that were banned in our household; on that list was one of our favourites, Get Smart (we loved that show!), although I don’t think this regime really took hold as she had strong views but was not particularly strict.
She also insisted that we be involved in other activities while watching TV. Thus, I would draw, sew and sometimes iron to satisfy this criteria. I carry the multi-tasking habit with me to this day. Thank you mom!
January 12, 2011 at 10:42 am
This is such great advice! Since my Henry loves to be held while doing squats, I sometimes find myself on the computer, while soothing him AND squatting. Your mom would be proud! 🙂