How Your Office Chair Is Killing You AND Your Bottom Line

Electric Chair

Are you sitting down? Stay that way longer than 3 hours each day and you’ll shave two productive years off of your life.

What’s worse?

This remains true even if you exercise regularly.

Several large studies recently estimated the cost of sitting through actual years of life lost. In entrepreneur math, 2 years of wasted capital and ideas equals one insanely expensive chair.

Since we weren’t at the top of the food chain for most of our evolution, being able to move in different ways kept us nimble, lean and alive. Even at rest, we didn’t sit; we squatted on the ground, a position which loaded our most powerful muscles to spring away from an oncoming predator when needed. A fully seated hunter-gatherer was called “dinner.”

Ironically, it was human innovation and self-preservation that ultimately brought forth the chair, car, and computer to successfully replace our natural predators.

If you’re an entrepreneur, take heart…you thrive on re-inventing your environment.

Breaking your addiction to chairs will increase your metabolism.  You’ll not only manage your weight better, but stick to tasks longer, crunch numbers faster and brainstorm solutions quicker!  You are built for endurance with short bursts of speed, similar to a good business startup.

Your knee-jerk reaction may be to Google “standing desks”, like thousands of your colleagues did this month alone. However, you’re no more designed to stand in one position all day than to sit still. Standing is not a replacement for movement: it’s simply an improvement on sitting, where your leg muscles are totally inactive. But you can start boosting your metabolism before moving the first stick of furniture.

  • Walk around your office using wireless or speaker when you’re on the phone.
  • Go talk to the people in your office instead of emailing.
  • Conduct all meetings with the participants standing up. It keeps the meeting short and the participants awake.
  • When you need a one-on-one, pretend you’re Steve Jobs and take people for a walk.
  • Treat elevators like handicap parking spaces and take the stairs instead.
  • If you do geek out for a standing desk, place a balance board, rebounder, or very slow treadmill in front of it. They will force you to shift weight constantly and engages your core muscles. Standing still for too long stresses your back and invites blood clots and varicose veins. Bonus: you CAN use all of these tools aerobically when you’re excited, ticked off, or need to boost creativity even more!

Transportation: There’s always walking, biking, and public transportation (remember to stand). But if cavemen had sidewalks, they’d likely also rollerblade, skateboard, scoot or combine some forms.

Bonus: Learn to do a flat-footed squat like your ancestors around a fire, or more than half the world’s population. It takes some practice but it pushes blood from your legs back to your brain, another creativity booster. Once you accomplish it, start using it as a short break. Then practice it with your kids or pets. For advanced ninja points and viral web traffic, ultimately post pictures of you at your “squatting desk”.

Reward yourself : At the end of the day , come to a full, guiltless stop in your easy chair. Evolution has it’s perks.

 

photo by: joey.parsons

Comments

  1. Do these concepts shake and wake anyone else? How do those of us in corporate cubiclevelle break the chains of chair bondage? I’d love to have the stand treadmill desk, in-place if the 10-12 hour predominantly sit down nature of my current project. Even now I’m sitting the http://www.firestone.com store while the car is getting worked on.

    After a typical marathon work day of sitting, then sitting again to drive home, I feel so numb, I just want to escape by lying down. How sick and apparently deadly is this cycle if decay?

    Am I alone in this cycle? Am I the only one signing off, in search inactivity rehab? Intervene and sign me up.

    • Unorthodoc says:

      Rock it, TC!

      Make commotion in your cubicle! Stand up against decay!
      If you’re sitting when the Reaper comes, you can’t jump outta the way!

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