“Is Sitting Is The New Smoking?!”
You’ve probably heard it before, sitting is the WORST thing for your health according to new clickbait articles on the internet.
Smokers are expected to live longer than those who spend most of their day seated in an office, even though they exercise religiously on a daily basis.
Do these claims hold any merit? Let’s take a look…
Deskbound: Standing Up To a Sitting World is the latest book by Dr. Kelly Starrett, author of the fantastic book ‘Becoming A Supple Leopard’, hailed as essentially the bible of mobility and self-cure for athletes and office workers with niggling aches and pains.
Deskbound is all about the issues associated with sitting along with a large practical base of self-cures just like ‘Becoming A Supple Leopard’.
Starrett’s description of Deskbound is as follows:
“Sitting can wreak havoc on your health, and not just in the form of minor aches and pains. Recent studies show that too much sitting contributes to a host of diseases—from obesity and diabetes to cancer and depression.
The typical seated office worker suffers from more musculoskeletal injuries than those workers who do daily manual labor. It turns out that sitting is as much an occupational risk as is lifting heavy weights on the job. The facts are in: sitting literally shortens your life. Your chair is your enemy, and it is murdering your body.
In this groundbreaking new book, Dr. Kelly Starrett—renowned physical therapist and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Becoming a Supple Leopard—unveils a detailed battle plan for surviving our chair-centric society. Deskbound provides creative solutions for reducing the amount of time you spend perched on your backside, as well as strategies for transforming your desk into a dynamic, active workstation that can improve your life. You will learn how to:
- Easily identify and fix toxic body positions
- Eradicate back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Mitigate carpel tunnel syndrome forever
- Organize and stabilize your spine and trunk
- Walk, hinge, squat, and carry with peak skill
- Perform daily body maintenance work using 14 mobility templates for resolving pain and increasing range of motion
Whether your goal is to maximize your performance in or out of the workplace, lose weight, or simply live pain-free, Deskbound will work for you. It is a revolutionary cure for death-by-desk.”
Deskbound Review – Worth The Read?
Although slightly dramatized, Starrett brings up a plethora of reasons as to why today we’re sitting more than ever while our bodies, based on the human genome which has not changed over the last century are built for movement.
"Our bodies are built for movement. And in turn movement keeps our bodies healthy, it is a symbiotic relationship that has allowed our species to survive"
You’re probably thinking that you move far more than the average person and than Starrett isn’t referring to you when discussing how inactive humans are today…
But let’s put this in perspective for the common office worker:
We sit while we eat breakfast in the morning, we sit while we drive to work in our car, we sit while we’re at work, when we get home we sit down to eat dinner followed by what is likely more sitting while unwinding with some television or video games.
Starrett argues that one hour of exercise in the evening, be it smashing weights in the gym or sprinting until your lungs bleed around the racetrack is not enough to what is essentially 16+ hours of sitting per day.
"When we sit for long periods, the muscles in our lower bodies literally turn off and become inactive"
Leading to us adopting poor positioning and in turn damaging our body running on the treadmill may assist with burning fat but it won’t be able to solve this dilemma for you.
The biggest problem with poor posture as Starrett discusses in Deskbound is that our body adapts to that position if we assume it regularly and for long enough..
"So if you sit and allow your back to round forward (flexion) or arch backward (overextension), your tissues and joints will form a sort of cast around that posture, making it difficult for you to get into better positions later."
So If Exercise Isn’t Enough, What Can We Do?
Starrett presents a number of tips to prevent and solve the plethora of problems associated with constant sitting, here’s what we should be doing:
- Only sit when necessary (if you’ve got an option to stand, do it)
- Work on a 30: 2 principle – 30 minutes of sitting requires at least 2 minutes of movement
- Your body mechanics and positioning should be a priority
- Spend at least 10 minutes per day working on your mobility and issues with the Deskbound guide
The Deskbound Exercise Prescriptions – Pure Gold
The meat of Kelly Starrett’s Deskbound is the large portion of the book spent providing various ‘maintenance’ exercise and routines in order to fix your rounded shoulders, open up your hips and solve the large array of other niggling aches, pains and immobile muscles acquired as a result of excessive amounts of sitting.
With images and descriptions of each movement, just like ‘Becoming A Supple Leopard’ this is not a book you’ll read from cover to cover and stack away on your dusty old bookshelf…
Deskbound is a book that you’ll refer to regularly for exercises and drills to loosen up, repair and prevent issues in certain body parts.
If you work in an office or spend a large amount of time sitting (let’s face it we all do) then I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Deskbound.