Sitting side effect: Neck pain
Craning your neck to read a computer screen can strain your spine. Keeping your head 30 degrees in front of your body requires three to four times more muscle than holding it straight, says Scott Bautch, DC, DACBOH, CCST, CCSP, president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Occupational Health. Fight it: Position your computer so the middle of the screen is level with your chin, which will encourage you to keep your neck in a neutral position, Bautch says. If centering it isn’t realistic, improve your posture by elevating your computer or TV rather than positioning it so you have to look down. Turning up the brightness could also help if you find yourself straining to see the screen, Bautch says.
Sitting side effect: Lack of concentration
Sitting down restricts blood flow and keeps oxygen from reaching your brain, leaving you foggy-brained and unable to concentrate. Fight it: Trying to save time by doing all your away-from-desk tasks at once could actually work against you. “You’re actually more efficient if you move than if you don’t move,” Bautch says. Break up your day by delivering a package to a coworker at one point, then getting up later to make copies rather than saving both tasks for the same trip, he says. Here’s how one creative office helped everyone get more active and beat sitting disease.