I’m at the computer for 8 hours a day!

How many people say that’ I’m at the computer for 8 hours a day’, as though it’s a badge of honour or a cross to bear? Well it’s true that if you take a seat and have a rest you will destress. However sitting for hours on end even in the optimum position as above (how many people sit like that), has a cost to the body.

That hunched over posture decreases lung capacity reducing oxygen to the body; less oxygen to the brain means it’s not as sharp; compression of the nerves, arteries and veins causes numbness and swelling. The body is designed to move; for blood circulation and nerve cell function amongst many other essential workings of the body. Sitting over time will cause wear and tear to spinal discs, overload ligaments and tendons putting strain on muscles that stretch to accommodate your back's curved position.

‘Recent studies have found that sitting for long periods is linked with some types of cancers and heart disease and can contribute to diabetes, kidney and liver problems. In fact, researchers have worked out that, worldwide, inactivity causes about 9% of premature deaths a year. That's over 5 million people.’ Murat Dalkilinc TED-Ed, March 2015

Yes we have to put the hours in, right? To make that business a success, right? True, but we have to be in a physical and mental state to be able to enjoy the success. So let’s give our bodies some welcome periods of respite; take a break in every hour, have a few sips of water which will keep the body hydrated and at its optimum.

When I’m on a marathon desk stint catching up on client records and sending out stretching and exercise programmes, I have a bowl of nuts and raisins or dates at my desk. Walnuts are the top nut for brain health and raisins or dates for that energy boost. Why a small bowl and not a few handfuls every so often, because I’d eat the lot and replenish from the cupboard, so remember one bowl for the day. That’s less calories and avoids snacking between meals.

More and more office bound workers are investing in desks which have adjustable heights which means you can sit or stand when you feel the need. There’s still the laptop champion, yes you know the ones curled up in the sofa beavering away in comfort. Well they are a source of income for me, when they arrive with lower back pain and those nagging headaches!

After some massage therapy sessions and a daily stretching routine you’ll be able to negate some of the damage. I say to my clients change their sitting position, take some breaks and do some stretches! For a dedicated stretching programme contact

Clive Sinclair, Sports and remedial massage therapist.

Click here to contact Clive Sinclair

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