Is The Desk Bad For Your Health?

During the current Covid-19 Pandemic, for many of us, that term ‘working from home’ is something that we’re now all familiar with. As we scramble to create some kind of workspace at home, with a desk and chair, sitting down all day isn’t that great for us.

Desk jobs are a part of life and for some, the hours and time spent at the desk can increase the longer you’re in the job. We all know that sitting for long periods of time isn’t exactly great for our bodies but do you know how sitting actually affects the body?

We want to give you a little more of an idea as to what that desk time can actually be doing to your body. Sitting for prolonged periods of time is known to:

– Increase your risk of circulation issues such as deep vein thrombosis
– Can lead to muscle atrophy (breaking down of muscle)
– Increases your risk of developing diabetes by 91%
– Increases your risk of developing cancer by 13%
– Increases your risk of cardiovascular disease by 14%
– Can cause issues and pain relating to your back and hips & much more

Despite all of this, the potential to reverse these effects are possible for those who MAKE the time to fit exercise into their day, either before or after their 8-hour day of sitting at their desk. Whether you’re currently working from home or not, this is vital!

New research suggests that the above risks were significantly eliminated for those who sit for 8 hours per day BUT also achieve 1 hour worth of exercise per day.

In other words, if you make time for at least 1 hour worth of exercise per day even with your 8 hours worth of sitting a day, you still have a chance to avoid some of these nasty lifestyle conditions as a result of your desk job.

Some helpful tips to keep active during those 8 hours at the desk are:

– Taking the long route to the toilet block throughout the day
– Ensuring you take breaks or perhaps a tea/coffee break regularly
– Make the most of walking to the bin or the photocopier at home
– Take that next Zoom meeting outside on the mobile while you walk around
– Do a few stretches throughout the day such as a back arch, hip flexor stretches and torso rotations

All of these instances of what we call incidental exercise are ways in which you can look after your body & your health while maintaining your desk job. By actively implementing ways to clock up your steps and to keep the body moving throughout the day, the less time you’ll spend with your physiotherapist & other healthcare professionals later in life.

If you are feeling the effects of your desk job, feeling increased pain as you adjust to working from home, the team at Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy can assess your pain and customise a plan for you to get you feeling your best.

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.