The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Challenge of the Week: Take A Few Minutes Everyday to Stretch
A normal workday is 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, how much do you actually stand during those 8 hours? I work a particularly large corporation with about 500 employees, and walking through the offices and cubicles, I only see one person who actually got rid of his chair and stands the entire time. Of course, he has a cabinet that he will occasionally lean on, but I never see him use it and he is standing, walking around, pacing back and forth, as he makes his sales.
While human society has grown accustomed to working in an office and sitting for 8 hours a day, it is not completely natural to be sitting for that long. After work, we all go home, and what do we end up doing? Sitting down to drive home. Sitting down for dinner. Sitting down to watch television. Sitting down to surf the Internet or get more work done at home. Sitting down in bed before laying down for sleep. We are constantly sitting and not standing or stretching enough. There must be some dire consequences to this action if we do it enough time over the course of our lives.
So what can you do? Stand up, walk around, and stretch more often than you usually do. You should not just stand up, but stand tall, get those bones and back muscles working. Your body is designed to be in the upright position. It took us millions of years to evolve that way, from walking with our backs hunched and on all fours, to finally standing up, with whatever crutch we needed, and learning how to walk on two legs instead of always using our hands and feet. Of course, if you are not an evolutionist, you can still believe that we were not designed to be hunched over and sitting all the time. We can walk and stand up, so why don’t we stand up and stretch out more?
Your challenge is to stretch and stand more this week at the office and at home. Instead of always opting to sit, stand for a few minutes longer each day this week than you normally would. As an alternative, if you find that you cannot stand for long periods of time, choose a single day to stand for an entire hour without sitting down.
Let us know in the comments how much stretching you did, if you do it daily, or what you do to keep yourself from always sitting down, especially at work.