Did you know that if you exercise every day, but have a job where you are either sitting all day or on your feet all day, your chances for injury and long term health problems greatly increase according to information posted by theNursing@Georgetown's Online FNP program. They created this infographic* that explains health issues caused by many types of professions that are actually the polar opposite of each other. However, the deteriorating health effects of either sitting too long or standing too long are equally alarming. Even if you exercise an hour a day, if you sit too long at your job, you could be considered "sedentary." If you stand too long for your job, you could be in pain if your training program does not consider these work related issues.
There are many jobs that fall into these categories, but you can find ways to limit your sitting or standing by adding a few pieces of equipment, stretches, and exercises to your day -- regularly -- throughout the day.
Jobs that require long periods of sitting, standing, or both: Standing Several Hours a Day The people in these professions typically stand for more hours than they are sitting. The ailments that follow many hours on your feet, daily, year after year, are pain in the feet, lower back, neck, and shoulders. More serious issues are stroke, poor blood circulation, and degenerative joint and spine injuries, all of which can cause days missed from work or worse. A few of these jobs are: Teachers Nurses Doctors Restaurant / Bar Employees Barbers Assembly Line Operator
For the standing professions, you need to exercise, walk, stretch, and do some balancing exercises for the legs and core. A few ideas to help are -- walk during breaks and stretch throughout the day doing a variety of stretches -- many ideas here in the Lower Back Plan.
Footwear is critical with proper arch supports and fitting. A podiatrist can recommend proper shoes or boots that work for how you personally stand or walk. Consider a higher chair like a bar stool or saddle chair if feasible for your work. Other options -- set a timer for 15 minutes and do a minute of stretches and exercises for the legs and lower back. These are easy to do and require a few bends and stretches while standing. Sitting Several Hours a Day
For professions where sitting is required, the typical associated ailments are body stiffness, neck and lower back pain, diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, obesity, and more circulatory and cardio-vascular diseases.
The people in these professions make their living sitting for long periods of time. Drivers Pilots Administrative Assistants IT Professionals Writers -- Even Fitness Writers! Many employees who are required to be seated all day will avoid eating or drinking, so bathroom breaks are decreased (drivers / pilots), thus adding to the list of medical issues that can occur. Stretching through the day and standing every hour (if possible) for a few minutes is recommended to keep major muscles and joints from getting too stiff and painful. The Lower Back Plan above is a good list of stretches and exercises, especially the abdominal, lower back, upper back, hips, and knees. Walking and stretching throughout the day for short periods of time will help increase blood flow and caloric burn. A good chair with lumbar support is recommended, but standing and stretching is still highly recommended throughout the day. If you can stand for just a minute every hour at a minimum, you will help yourself with many of the pain issues of sitting for long periods of time.
Consider a standing desk that can move to a standing position as well as a sitting position to break up the day stuck on one position.
Professions that require a mix of either long periods of sitting and long period of standing: Military Police Fire Fighters EMT
There are many jobs -- especially the tactical professions -- that have you doing nothing (sitting in a vehicle / fire house) and suddenly you are up and moving at full speed. These require a foundation of both fitness and flexibility. These will help you also battle long term effects of stress common in these jobs.
No matter what your profession, getting exercise is critical, but either standing or sitting all day can still make what many consider an "active lifestyle" be parallel to those who are sedentary. Obviously working out for an hour a day (resistance, cardio, stretching) will help you when in these sitting or standing professions, but being aware of the issues related to such professions and alleviating them will add to your productivity and longevity as Tactical Athletes. *Information from the infographic is sourced from the CDC and U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services and other studies.