Your Desk Job Is Killing You
As I write this blog post, I’m sitting at my desk in 1818 Market. There’s a window in my office, so I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to see sunlight. I’m wearing heels today (a rarity), which means my feet sort of ache, and my posture, as usual, is awful. My favorite sitting position includes pulling my left foot up and tucking it under my rear. Which, as you can imagine, only worsens the posture situation. My foot frequently falls asleep.
Added to this is the fact that I can’t remember the last time I got up and walked around. I think I hit the restroom a couple of hours ago, but that’s it. I packed a lunch today, so I didn’t even have to leave my office—much less, the square block—for sustenance. And this, after a colleague wrote just yesterday about how being sedentary is so very harmful to my health.
I have three-and-a-half more hours until quitting time. At 4 p.m., I have a phone interview for a story for the magazine. Which means between now and then, you’ll find me here at my desk, with my glasses on (I had to start wearing them a few years ago for work because of eye strain issues. Oy.), sitting like someone who never learned the value of a straight spine. And that’ll be my workday.
Turns out, I’m not unlike many of my fellow Americans (probably including you, dear reader), who sit at office desks for far longer than is healthfully responsible—much longer than our parents and grandparents sat in a given day and longer still than our hunter/gatherer ancestors, who spent the majority of their time spearing fish and what not and burning more calories than they could keep up with.
To quantify all that sitting (and the damage it can do to your health), Mashable turned up this (neat? depressing?) infographic which aptly begins: “Congrats! Work Is Murder.”
From there, it details all the sad, depressing ways desk jobs are shortening your life. My favorite tidbits:
• Americans burn 140 fewer calories a day than they did 50 years go. This adds up to 51,500 calories for an average weight gain of 14.6 pounds each year.
• In the 1960s, nearly half of all jobs required physical activity. In 2012, less than 20 percent do.
• Two-thirds of working Americans use a computer at work. Seventy-five percent of those workers suffer from eye and vision problems. (I’m not alone!)
• In 2006, there were 9,279 urgent care visits for computer-related injuries.
(I threw that last one in there just to make you laugh.)
Check out the full infographic over here. (Warning: Depression quotient is high.) Then come back and cry with me for a minute.