Sitting At The Desk: A Health Risk

Sometimes, sitting down at your desk for 8+ hours a day is unavoidable.

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 affects 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.

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
– Even get up and ask your co-worker a question instead of emailing them
– Take the stairs instead of the lifts
– Park further away from your workplace so you get in a few extra steps
– 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 and experiencing pain daily, the team at Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy can assess your pain and customise a plan for you to get you feeling your best.

Contact the clinic today to book an initial appointment on (02) 4721 7798 or email


Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

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, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.