People who spend long hours sitting at a desk are vulnerable to a serious problem: sedentary work. Fortunately, there are a few tips that can be put into practice on a daily basis to limit the impact of a sedentary job.  

The effects of a sedentary lifestyle

We are especially interested in joint pain related to osteoarthritis. So, let’s being with pointing out that the sedentary lifestyle and resulting weight issues are often factors increasing the effects of osteoarthritis on the body.

While the general recommendations for an active lifestyle are to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, this is not easy for everyone. When we spend up to 8 hours sitting in front of a computer, the moments of inactivity in a day quickly accumulate: transit by car or public transport, office work, TV on the couch… When we combine the lack of activity with bad work positions, the impacts on the musculoskeletal system can become major. These include significant pressure on joints, such as the shoulders and lower back vertebrae, as well as a decrease in joint flexibility. These factors can cause the onset of pain or exacerbate existing pain.

How to offset sitting at work?

Below we present four general tips that should help you counter the effects of a sedentary job.

Varying positions

One of the direct consequences of sedentary work is the fact that we adopt positions that are often not optimal over a prolonged period of time. The head and neck jut forward, the lower back curves, the pelvis is tilted… The joints are thus put under a lot of pressure. Therefore, it is important to regularly vary work positions to reduce this pressure.

A good way to vary positions throughout the day is to stretch, targeting specific areas of the body: hands and wrists, neck, shoulders, and hips. The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety offers relevant exercises to do on the job.

Get up more often

Another great way to change position and instantly relieve pressure on the joints is to get up and walk around a bit. Therefore, we should try to take every opportunity we have to get up and move our body a bit. Here are some suggestions:

  • Instead of e-mailing a colleague who is in the same office, get up and talk to them in person.
  • If you have to make a call, get up and walk around a bit.
  • Make sure you are well hydrated throughout the day by regularly filling your glass with water. The smaller your glass, the more often you will have get up to refill it.
  • Get a drink or snack from the local cafeteria or coffee shop.

Adopting an ergonomic position

At work and in everyday activities, we should always pay attention to our posture. Yes, you’ve heard this advice a thousand times, but it speaks to the importance of an ergonomic work position.

Specifically, we must make sure our chair that is well adjusted, and that our workstation allows our body to adopt ergonomic positions. If necessary, talk to your employer, since professional services exist to promote good work ergonomics.

Incorporating short spurts of physical activity into your daily routine

Remember you don’t have to run marathons to be more active in your daily life. Short spurts of physical activity add up and you can easily reach the recommended 150 minutes a week of physical activity. Here are some tips to help you achieve this goal:

  • Encourage active transportation by walking or biking to work;
  • Take the stairs as often as possible;
  • Take a walk or do a short workout at lunchtime;
  • Organize active meetings when possible, i.e., walking with colleagues instead of staying in a room.

In the case of osteoarthritis-related joint pain, in addition to applying the tips presented in this article if you have a sedentary job, consider incorporating Genacol collagen supplements into your daily routine. These are safe natural products with proven effectiveness to take care of your precious joints.