Monday, March 24, 2014

Sitting Hurts Like a Motha...

My standing desk at work I rigged up

Let me tell you a story.

If you have followed my blog or read my book then you know that I work a full-time job in addition to personal training.

A little over a year ago, I took a promotion at the job that moved me into a position where I would be at a desk a good chunk out of the day.

And recently, I found out that the job was hurting me.  Bad.
With an ever expanding amount of people sitting at a desk all day in front of computers working office jobs, the awareness of how bad sitting is for humans just keeps coming to the forefront.  One of the most common questions I get at the gym is "should I sit on an exercise ball at work?"

When I switched jobs at my company, I went from a job where I was on my feet all day working in a warehouse to being at a desk most the day.  A few months after sitting at my desk, I started to get my first small nagging pains from working out.  I had shoulder and hip issues flare up out of no where.  I thought nothing of it.  I thought it was just all the time in the gym finally catching up to me and that I had just been lucky up until that point.

A few months ago, I found a table at work that was big enough and tall enough to be a perfect standing desk.  I was absolutely tired of sitting all day, so I took this table to my work area and ordered myself a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.  I used it a little bit at first but not a ton.

About a month ago, I started standing a lot more.  I had one week where I did not sit at all.  That week, I felt great.  A lot of my aches and pains in the gym were gone.  So I kept standing.  Then one day last week, I had to sit all day because my work required it.  My shoulders and my hips flared up again the next day.  I stood the next day, then was fine.  Then another day I had to sit, and my issues flared up again.

Coincidence?  I think not.

Though I want to do some more monitoring, I think I can make a pretty strong conclusion that sitting at work lead to a lot of the issues I was having.  No doubt, I feel much better when I stand.  It may seem like a "no-brainer", but it has just been interesting to experience for myself.

So if you have the option to stand at work, make it happen!  It can make so much difference in your mobility and overall health!

Do you have a standing setup at your job?  Share below what your setup is!


  1. I recently got a new job which put me back into a sitting desk after using a stand up for 6+ months. In the first week of sitting I definitely felt the lower back pain and the tightness in my hips starting to comeback. I really have to stretch now before I can go 100% in the gym, but I still don't feel as strong in my lower back as I did when I was standing. Hopefully I'll get back into a stand-up desk soon!

    1. Dude it's such a bitch. Luckily I found this table I can stand with. Makes such a huge diff.

  2. as a customer service rep in cubicle world the 8 hours of sitting have deteriorated my thigh muscles that I am really weak, getting up steps and just to get out of a chair. Any suggestions on exercises to strengthen those muscles? After 90 days of Juice/veggie w small protein amounts I am down 30 lbs, bloodpressure, cholesterol and blood sugar is normal. Still have 100 lbs to lose.

    1. Congrats on your weight loss and your results! Very awesome!

      You need to work on your core strength, specifically lower back and hips and you can also do some simple leg exercises.

      For your hips, I would do hip thrusts, lying side single leg raises, and do hip abductor and adductor work. I do not like machines for these. I like to use resistance bands (tie a band to your leg and to a post and move your leg out to the side to work your inner thigh and hips). The machines force you into the position too much.

      Also, do plenty of stretching.

      For your legs, different squat variations are going to help strengthen your quads. Don't worry about going heavy and doing back squats as the risk/reward isn't worth it. Grab some dumbbells, hold em at your side and squat for 10 reps. You also can do goblet squats where you hold a weight or kettlebell at your chest and squat. Or you can do squats with no weights.

      And really just make sure you take plenty of time to warm up before your workout and stretch after and do foam rolling if you have access.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Thank you,thank you will do! My plans are to expand my vegetable garden for quantitative, organic "juiceables" (squashes,zucchini,cucumbers etc) to offset the cost a little and also provide some productive exercise. Thank you for this blog. I follow all the time.