Sinclaire Sparkman: Ditch the desk chair

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated May 4, 2018 at 2:00 PM

I recently decided to change up my sitting habits at work. Some research I did last year when I was entrusted with the task of picking out new chairs revealed that sitting is really not the best thing to do for eight hours a day, so I don’t do it anymore. Now, like many an eccentric TV show character, I sit on an exercise ball.

I know, it sounds crazy. And there are times when it feels slightly crazy, but it also feels good. Sitting on the ball motivates me to get up and walk more often, and I can even do a subtle ab workout while typing away.

My column on chairs last year was pretty tongue-in-cheek about the whole killer sitting thing. Often we see things in passing and it just doesn’t register, or we’re not ready to make a drastic change, or we just really really like sitting. That’s ok, just evaluate. 

Humans weren’t designed to be idle for most of their day. We have to move to get our brains working to full capacity. Sore muscles, poor circulation, back problems, heart disease and even some forms of cancer have all been linked to bad sitting habits. I read it. I believed it. I just didn’t care to do anything about it. That was my choice, and it’s yours too. 

Eventually, the truth of the matter struck home for me and an inspiration to get fit came with a compulsion to ditch my desk chair last month.

It hasn’t been a perfect transition. While the ball does provide incentive for my ab muscles and forces me to sit up straight thereby improving my circulation and clearing brain fog, it also gets super tiring to sit without back support. Sometimes I give myself a break and bring out the chair, but I also like to just get up and walk around a bit. 

And yes, my coworkers did chide me a bit for being that weird health nut in the office, but my boss also mentioned he’d like to use a standing desk. So step out. Do that thing you know will help you live longer. Maybe it’s not sitting on an exercise ball, but any healthy step is a victory. 

Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

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