Sitting is the new smoking

jasonleow  •  5 Jul 2021

@therealbrandonwilson’s posts about sitting being the new smoking had gotten me thinking more about my own sitting habits. Or bad habits, to be honest.

I sit too long too often. I don’t take enough breaks. If I’m concentrating on something, I’m actually annoyed by my Pomodoro reminder (to take a break) and switch it off. I get up too quickly after sitting for too long. My chair is a cheap IKEA one that doesn’t give good whole back support. I have a cardboard stand that I can place on my desk to make it into standing desk, but it’s not ideal - makes me lean forward and gives me a back ache.

Standing for extended time is just as bad as sitting for too long. Daily active and frequent movement is key.

My only saving grace from my work desk set up is a Roost stand which I bought years ago for my Macbook. It’s really effective in getting the screen to a good height so that I can keep my neck upright while working. A wireless keyboard and trackpad combo keep the rest of my shoulders, arms and wrists at the proper angles, mostly.

Yet despite that, my hips had been feeling off for a while due to my sitting posture. Upper back aches are becoming regular.

A few things I can get to take good care of my posture and physical health:

  • Adjustable height desk to easily switch from sitting to standing. This hand-cranked one from IKEA is pretty good and value-for-money.
  • A high chair - looking for a chair that’s like a bar stool, but with some ergonomic support. I like to half-sit, half-stand while using a standing desk, so it has to be able to support my weight without slipping.
  • A nice carpet for the feet - something non-slip and just that little bit soft to take some foot pressure off from the hard floor
  • Gamer chair - many friends had bought gamer chairs due to changing to working from home. A local company Secret Lab makes these awesome yet affordable gamer chairs.
  • Cooling seat cushion - something that can help my bum stay cool and ventilated, even after sitting for more than one hour (say, for meetings)
  • Wrist pad - a proper wrist pad for my trackpad and keyboard. I’m using a sticky notepad as a work-around wrist pad for my trackpad, for more than a year already! Work-arounds have to stop.
  • Pomodoro timer - time to take it seriously?! How can I not let it interrupt my flow yet make it a habit to take breaks frequently?

This will be fun. A new biohacking habit! (What should I call it?)

Anything else I should take note of? Any equipment to recommend?

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