What's Wrong With My Desk?

I’m sure that you have a very lovely desk and that you’ve developed quite the relationship over the years. 
However, your desk may not have your best interests at heart and continuing this relationship may well be affecting your health. 
Sitting is the new smoking, and simply put we’re slowly sitting ourselves to death (which is quite a boring way to go).
Just like the battery on your car will need replacing if you don’t drive it; your body will slowly start to decay if you don’t move it. 
Now, you may be thinking “Well I workout 3 times per week, so I don’t have to worry”. Well, you’d be wrong.
A few hours of exercise per week is great don’t get me wrong, but movement needs to be daily thing and implemented in some shape or form.

The Ramifications of Sitting

So, what’s so bad about sitting and what are the dangers?
Well, consistently sitting for extended periods of time is a health hazard that can wreak havoc on the body in more ways than you’d think. 
The musculoskeletal effects of sitting are (but not limited to): Tight hips, tight chest and shoulders, knee pain, lower back pain, muscle degeneration and other lower extremity problems.
Issues extend further than this and can begin to effect health in various other ways, in particular through an Increased risk of type 2 diabetes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The simple fact is, the more time you spend sitting, the less time you spend being active.
Whilst the above issues caused through sitting are problems in themselves, it’s the implications that they have on your daily life that really affect the quality of life that you have.
Here are a few simple tips that you can do to reduce the risks of sitting and improve your overall health.

Reduce Optional sitting

Starting with perhaps the most obvious thing you can do… sit less.
There’s no doubt that sitting is a big part of our lives, especially in western culture.
But whilst sitting may provide you comfort in the short term it does very little to contribute to long term health.
There’s always scope to reduce sitting where you can, especially sitting that is considered optional.
Plenty of working places do now offer flexible workspaces, with desks that can be positioned to either seated or standing.
Regardless if you have a standing desk or not, when you can, take the opportunity to stand whilst working.
This could be standing every time you have a phone call, standing during a certain task of the day, stand/walk during meetings with colleagues (perhaps during 1-1 meetings).
Transitioning to a standing desk is the best option in the long term, but introducing periods of standing into your day is the best option in the short term and will help you transition to further standing.

Perform 10-15 Minutes Of Daily Maintenance

You wouldn’t treat a new car with the same disregard that you do with your body. 
Unlike a car, you only get one body (unless you’re reading this in the year 3021) so perhaps it’s time to take care of it. 
A good way to start doing this is to do 10-15 minutes of daily maintenance. 
Performing 10-15 minutes of daily maintenance through soft tissue and mobility work will keep your body running like a well-oiled machine.
How can you expect your body to move well if you’re not even moving it?
Here are a few of my favourite daily maintenance drills that I regularly use myself and with my Online Coaching clients (Click the links below to access the videos)

Intermediate Mobility Flow

4 Way Hip Complex

Thoracic Wall Stretch

Cat Camels

Active 90/90


You can also download my free 10 minute mobility programme here!

FREE 10 Minute Mobility Programme

Break away from your desk and set your joints free with the 10 minute mobility programme. Don’t let your desk cause you anymore pain than it already has!

By providing your email you kindly agree to receive email alerts from me. I do not spam (you’re safe with me) and you can unsubscribe at anytime!

Get Up and Move Every 20-30 Minutes

Taking small breaks from your desk is one of the easiest ways to include more movement into your day. 
Whether at the office or at home, you can start to make a difference by taking just a 2 minute movement break every 30 minutes.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to start a bunch of stretches in the middle of the office (although you could?)
What it does mean is that you should get up and move. Walk somewhere, move to another room,  do a few squats, do a few pushups, go and get a drink, etc etc.
Taking periodic breaks from sitting will help to prevent your body adhering to the seated position and give you a chance to move your limbs thoroughly.

Use The 20/20/20 Rule

Sitting isn’t the only problem that comes with the desk-bound lifestyle. 
That big bright square that you stare at all day has its effects too.
It’s no secret that prolonged work a computer screen can have negative effects on your vision.
The big bright screen can also cause headaches, reduce your focus, and interfere with your sleep as the exposure to blue light disrupts the release of melatonin (the hormone that promotes tiredness and sleep).
A simple thing you can do to help mitigate this is to use the 20/20/20 rule.


Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.


You could also look at getting blue light blockers to help combat the disruptive effects of blue light


Practical Applications

So great, you now have some simple rules to follow to improve your health and reduce the effects of sitting.
But how can you practically apply these?
  • Stand for 10 minutes, sit for 50 minutes. Over time, gradually increase standing time and reduce sitting time (i.e., stand for 15, sit for 45)
  • Walk and talk during phone conversations and meetings with 1 or 2 colleagues.
  • Take a 2 minute movement break every 30 minutes. Set a timer/reminder on your phone to get up and move. Perhaps integrate this to the above points where possible.
  • Use the 20/20/20 rule at regular intervals throughout the day, when doing computer work for extended periods of time.
  • Do 10-15 minutes of mobility maintenance before or after lunch when working from home. Or do this before/after work if working at the office.

One last thing you can do is optimise your work desk (or have someone look at doing this for you, many workplaces offer it)


Optimising your work desk to encourage optimum mechanics and posture when working can help to limit some negative effects of sitting, particular around the neck, chest and shoulders.


Break away from your desk and set your joints free with the 10 minute mobility programme. Don’t let your desk cause you anymore pain than it already has!

FREE 10 Minute Mobility Programme

By providing your email you kindly agree to receive email alerts from me. I do not spam (you’re safe with me) and you can unsubscribe at anytime!

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Sam is a Personal Trainer, Online Coach and Fitness Educator with background in achieving results for a variety of clients. Sam now specialises in Pain Free Performance, helping people across the world to achieve their goals safely and effectively. 

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