The benefits of the modern age are many: instant communication, advanced medicine, the ability to travel around the world with ease, a world wide web of information at our fingertips, and slow-moving lorises. Yea, the modern age is pretty great. Although I promote a Paleo-style diet here on the site, that by no way means I want to go back to living in the Paleolithic era. I think if cavemen could see us today, they’d think we have it pretty good (even if they wouldn’t know what to do with all of our crap.) Of course there are drawbacks as well. Our food quality has consistently gotten worse, our muscles are weaker than our ancestors, and we have a smaller brain capacity. (#allconnected?) Some of these may be commonly known. However, one casualty of all that positive-change not often mentioned is the power generator of the human body – the hips.
Assassin in Disguise
Did you know that the average full-time worker spends 2/3 of their day sitting? You may be thinking, so what, that’s normal. But in the modern age, normal does NOT equal healthy, or even historically normal. Chairs haven’t been around forever. The first office chairs weren’t introduced until the mid-1800s for railroad workers, and even then it wasn’t until much later in the decades after WWII that we really became sedentary. Why is that important? Because even though chairs have drastically effected our lifestyles, our bodies are the same as they were thousands, even tens of thousands, of years ago. We were born to MOVE, not SIT. Sitting forces our bodies into anatomically unsound positions. Hours on end spent in chairs is literally slowly crippling our bodies and our health. Your hamstrings shorten, your muscles in your glutes get glued together like a giant meat-cake, your hips lose their ability to straighten and therefore generate power, and your lumbar-spine is forced to support the weight of your slouching-body (you know we all do it). Heck, the entire field of ergonomics was invented to try to fix this stuff. And as if that weren’t bad enough, too much sitting has also been connected to an increased risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cancer. While that may be more of a reflection of a sedentary lifestyle than anything else, we can at least say this confidently: sitting pretty much sucks. But what’s to be done? How can we fight the fusing of our lower spine to our chairs in an age were sitting is not only the norm, but in many cases in unavoidable? What’s a fire-breathing desk warrior to do?
Fight the Chair-Monster
While there may be no perfect solution (except for maybe burning all of our chairs in a massive bonfire-of-mobility), here are 10 tips I use to try to fight the chair-monster everyday. Continue reading