What does desk work mean

Harmful desk work: why sitting for long periods is so unhealthy

How many hours a day do you sit? For me there are ... well, too many. And that is noticeable. Tension in the back, headaches and tingling legs may also be your annoying companions in everyday work. Fortunately, there are clever inventions and effective tips that are easy to use to get rid of them. Gerhard Altenhofer, sports scientist and co-founder of Healthquarter explains more to us.

Persistent sitting health risk: why desk work is harmful

One word of caution: if you like to sit a lot, you might want to avoid reading this article. You definitely shouldn't google why sitting is so harmful. What you get to read there makes you jump up from your comfortable armchair in shock. Comfortable? No, fatal! Sitting leads to Circulatory disorders, muscle breakdown, increased Diabetes risk and those who spend more than three hours a day at their desk shorten their life expectancy by up to two years, according to the results of various studies.

Unconcentrated and uncreative: our brain doesn't like to sit

Sports scientist Gerhard Altenhofer puts something into perspective, but nevertheless emphasizes the negative consequences of long sitting work: “Per se, nothing speaks against sitting, but as is so often the case, it does Dose the poison. For example, if we sit in front of the PC for hours without moving, the blood flow in the brain decreases. "

"If we sit for hours in front of the PC, the blood flow in the brain decreases."

It is obvious that this is not conducive to work in the office, which is often thought-provoking. "Our central thinking organ is thus supplied with fewer nutrients and oxygen, which we need to concentrate, creative and capable of making decisions to stay or to become. "

"The longer you sit down, the more fat you store."

Altenhofer also explains the physical consequences: “Furthermore, the longer you sit down, the more energy you store in the form of fat. This stored (belly) fat can trigger an inflammatory cycle, which is becoming more common in the metabolic syndrome ends: high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, obesity and impaired lipid metabolism. ”Quite frightening. But don't worry: exercise can compensate for the harmful effects of long-term sitting.

Movement compensates for constant sitting

Humans are animals of movement. Especially ours Spine is designed for this. “The spine is for three movements aligned: bending and stretching, rotation and inclination to the sides. It is not made to remain in fixed positions for a long time, ”writes Prof. Dr. Dietrich Grönemeyer (yes, the famous singer's brother) in his "back book" - by the way, a personal reading recommendation for everyone who often has back problems.

"Our muscles have the strength to compensate for the negative factors of long-term sitting."

Gerhard Altenhofer adds: “Ours Musculature the strength - if it is moved regularly, preferably every half hour for 1-2 minutes - has the negative factors of long-term sitting balance. But when we don't move, our muscles are broken down and back pain is increasing due to muscular imbalances more and more often the result. So if you integrate exercise breaks into everyday working life, you can take your health into your own hands. "

Sitting Breaks: Short breaks in movement towards the afternoon low

Movement is the unsurprising solution to the problem of sitting. Anyone who regularly does sports or who commutes to work on foot or by bike compensates for long periods of sitting. The sports scientist also recommends small ones Exercise breaks in everyday work: “A very effective way to counteract the risk mentioned is to exercise Sitting breaks. Short breaks in movement from one to two minutes every half hour not only provide fresh thoughts, but also have a positive effect on the metabolism and muscle tension in the body. Breathing exercises expand this effect and thus demonstrably reduce the subjective feeling of stress. ”In this video he shows us what a sitting break can look like.

Working while standing: the solution to long-term sitting?

As an alternative to permanent work while sitting Standing desks a good opportunity. They are available in the form of desk attachments or as height-adjustable desks with which you can work while standing. This is a welcome change for our body, but does not replace regular exercise - because standing is not ideal for us in the long term either. So if you are already standing, you can also immediately move a little. The "vein pump", so bobbing up and down on the ball of the toes, promotes blood circulation, for example, and is easy to combine with work. Anyone who would like to be more active at work - and can multitask well - may find the invention calledTreadmill desk" Well …

The ironing board desk: The home office variant for working while standing

This is recommended for everyone who, like me, does not have a desk in the home office and still would like to work standing up from time to time Ironing board. This picture on Instagram gave me the idea to just give it a try:

And what should I say? I have finally found a useful use for my ironing board. It wobbles a bit when typing, but overall it is a refreshing change from sitting down to work.

This article was written standing up.

About the person:

Gerhard Altenhofer is a sports scientist, mental trainer and therapist for clinical psycho-neuro-immunology. As a co-founder and innovative idea generator of Healthquarter, he imparts scientific knowledge and individual solutions for personality development, health and performance to individuals and companies.

Photo credits: shutterstock / fizkes; karriere.at