Have you ever felt like your job was sucking the life out of you? Or perhaps you feel as if your colleagues are a bunch of zombies, who just keep coming in and going out of the door all day? If so, then it’s possible that your job is killing off some of your natural rhythms and leaving you feeling lethargic. This could be because working a lot all day long is robbing you of your zest for life. Or it could be because your job doesn’t require much physical activity and leaves little room for movement. Whatever the case may be, working long hours at a desk or a computer can have negative effects on your body that can last well beyond work hours. Here are 4 signs that show how sitting all day at work is hurting your neck and back:
You Have Head and Neck Pain After Work
If you constantly feel stiff and achy in the neck and shoulders, are you likely to have a headache or a sore neck and head at the end of the day? And if you do, is it likely to get worse as you sit down more? If so, then sitting all day at work could be causing neck and upper back pain.
There are a couple of reasons why this could be happening. For example, if you spend most of your day sitting down, you may develop an increased curvature of the spine. This can cause a lack of support in the neck and upper back, which may result in pain.
Alternatively, if you spend most of your day slumped in a chair, you could be missing out on a lot of the movement that keeps your body in movement, which also means you may lose flexibility in your neck and upper back muscles, potentially leading to pain.
You’re Constantly Stiff and achy
When you spend a lot of time sitting down, your muscles may be left feeling stiff and achy. This can be because sitting down for long periods of time can leave you with shortened muscles. Or it could be because sitting in a chair all day long can cause you to lose a lot of water from the tissue in your muscles.
The latter may result in a feeling of stiffness and achiness. This stiffness and achiness can be especially noticeable in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. If you’re constantly feeling stiff and achy in your neck and shoulders, they may be suffering from atrophying, which is when muscles lose their mass as you keep working them out less. It could be because sitting at work is eroding away the water that keeps your muscles hydrated and flexible.
Your Muscles Are Always Sore and Tired
If you work in an office that requires little to no physical activity, you’re likely to have a lot of sore and tired muscles. This could be because sitting down all day at work uses up the energy in your muscles, leaving you with a tired feeling. Alternatively, it could be because you’re not getting enough exercise, which means your muscles are getting “dusty” and losing their flexibility.
If moving around less or taking regular exercise leaves you with a lot of tired muscles after work, then sitting at work may be putting your body through too much stress and causing them to become “dusty”, which could result in soreness and decreased flexibility.
You’re Getting Atrophy in the Neck and Back
If you spend most of your time sitting down at work, you may be at risk of developing atrophy in your neck and back muscles. This happens when the muscles in your neck and back tire out and atrophy, or “become dusty”.
When the muscles in your neck and back get tired, they may lose their elasticity, which means they lose their ability to return to their previous shape once you let go of them. If you’re constantly getting “dusty” muscles after work, this could be a sign that you’re sitting too much.
It’s also worth noting that if you have bad posture as a result of sitting all day, this could be contributing to your muscles becoming “dusty”.
What to do about it
If you feel like sitting all day at work is robbing you of your zest for life, then change your job.
If you can’t change your job, you can try to change your chair. Invest in a good ergonomic chair, or try to incorporate a little movement into your workday, for example, by alternating between standing and sitting or moving between 2-4 computer screens.
Drink a lot of water this keeps your muscles hydrated and flexible. Stand up and take a short break every hour. Alternatively, if you just don’t feel like moving from your desk, try popping a few aspirins before you leave for work. These can help you stay in your chair a little bit longer, We don't like taking pills to just mask the pain.
You can get a massage, or see if the office will bring in a massage therapist to do chair massages during lunchtime so everyone gets a break.
Of course, there are a lot of factors that go into how long you work or what you do for work, so it’s important to try and find a work environment that works for you. But if you’re feeling like sitting all day at work is taking a toll on your body, then it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about what you can do to alleviate the situation.
If you work a lot and sit at a desk, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting up and moving around every so often. You can do this by switching between standing and sitting every few hours, or taking regular breaks to stretch and get some exercise.
You can also drink more water. This can help to hydrate your muscles, so you aren't as sore. Get a massage, or stop in to see a chiropractor they can help with a lot of problems from sitting too much. At New Leaf Chiropractic we are accepting new patients, you can call our office at 586-939-1003 or click the link below to schedule a consultation.