Desk Workout

Sitting is NOT the “New Smoking”!

  • April 11, 2017

Yes, you read that title correctly... 

Do you spend the majority of your week sitting at a desk?

Are long hours in front of your computer or working at a desk a big part of your life?

If you’re like most people, you’ve read countless blogs or articles talking about how deadly it is to be sitting at a desk too long.

This is probably tough to hear since such a large portion of the American workforce, just like you, spend 40+ hours a week on their rear looking at a computer screen.

At work, you probably have an ergonomic chair, a special mouse, maybe even a screen that can move in all sorts of different directions. There may even be a department at work dedicated to making sure you have everything you need to keep your desk from slowly killing you.

I promise this is not another one of those blogs that mistakenly reminds you of how dangerous your desk is!

Sitting is NOT the New Smoking!

I prefer to compare long days at a desk to more of a new physical activity...

Before you think I’m full of it let me explain this concept to you.

The problem with this idea that sitting is the new smoking is that it makes the assumption that your body is weak, fragile and dumb. And that somehow sitting at a desk is harming you.

This is far from the truth!

Your body is incredibly strong and adaptable! And because of this, it will do its best to meet the demands that you place upon it so that it can be as efficient as possible.

Does this sound familiar?

When you train yourself by exercising, practicing a sport or a fun activity you place tolerable amounts of stress on your body so it can adapt and more efficiently perform that task. You become better at what it is you repeatedly do, both mentally and physically.

If the demands are larger than your current capacity your body will adapt to be able to meet those demands.

Likewise, if the demands are limited then your body will adapt to do what it needs in order to conserve energy.

This is how I like you to think about what happens when you sit at your desk all week.

No, you’re not slowly crumbling in your chair.

You’re actually training your body to be as good as it possibly can at what it does the most. And that just so happens to be sitting at a desk and getting all sorts of great stuff done!

So the reality is that this process is not anything like a slow death!

In fact, you have just been spending the majority of your time transforming into a finely tuned DESK ATHLETE!

At least that’s what we like to call it, and how you’ll be treated here at FlowForce Rehab 🙂

Don’t get me wrong here...

You absolutely NEED to make sure and get adequate exercise throughout the week.

Staying active is essential to staying healthy and having a higher quality of life. I’m not in any way shape or form advocating for sitting in replace of a good workout and a variety of movement.

I’m just saying that sitting itself is not at all dangerous!

Not being active on the other hand can lead to a host of issues, but is an entirely different topic.

In this blog, we’re assuming that when you’re not at your desk you are staying active!

So what’s the problem?

Okay so before you start counting your mouse reps and posting Instagram pics at your desk with #instafit let’s get to the root of the issue most desk athletes face…

The real issue is that most desk athletes don’t realize that they are a desk athlete.

They don’t know that the time they spend at their desk is essentially training them to be as efficient as possible at sitting at a desk.

Instead, you associate yourself mostly with the activities you spend time doing OUTSIDE of the workplace. And that makes perfect sense because in most cases you are only at a desk so you can afford the lifestyle you want for yourself or your family.

You sit at a desk so you can PLAY and do all sorts of things you consider FUN when you are NOT at work.

So problems then come about when you ask your body to do things that it hasn’t been consistently training to do.

If you spend all week at a desk and your body has adapted to be at it’s best there, this has the potential to reduce the available movement options you have when not at a desk.

Because it has adapted to being efficient at what it does the most.

So it’s similar to training all month long in the gym doing nothing but deadlifts and then wondering why we can’t run an entire marathon whenever we want without issue.  

We simply haven’t spent any time training for a long run. 

It’s not that deadlifts are bad. Deadlifts are AWESOME! But they won’t prepare the body for the same type of repetitive stress and energy demands encountered during such a long run, just because the body hasn’t had sufficient time and training to adapt.

So what is the solution!?

I didn’t bring you all this way to not give you some helpful tips!

So what is necessary of any athlete that wishes to be good at a variety of things?


Which is what I want you to think of as you use the following easy to implement tips...

Get up from your desk and go for a quick walk

Getting up from your desk and going for a quick stroll - maybe to the water cooler or maybe just a lap around the workspace - will be incredibly helpful in getting your blood flowing and allowing your body to loosen up a bit from all that tough desk training you’ve been doing.

This will also help break up the monotony of the work you’re doing and let your brain take a mental break. Which can also make you MORE productive than just sitting forever trying to push through your work.

Shake it out!

Can’t go for a walk? No worries!

One of the best ways to refresh yourself is to just stand up from your desk and get a case of the wiggles.

Don’t worry about what your co-workers or the people around you see when you do this. They probably think you’re weird anyway!

All you really have to do is take 10 - 20 seconds to stand up shake your entire body. Or even just do it in your seat. This can be a big help to reset yourself, get some motion and increased blood flow into areas that have been still for a while.

It really doesn’t have to be difficult

All you’re really doing at this point is making sure to stop and give yourself some Me Time. After all that desk training you’ve been doing it’s important to allow your body to take a moment and enjoy something a little different!

Just try any sort of movement that is the opposite of what you catch yourself doing at the desk. Feel free to be creative!

Ideally, you’ll take a break from sitting at your desk at least once an hour. Hopefully more if you can. Even if you can’t get up from your desk, just take a moment to get some movement in somehow.

Can’t seem to remind yourself to get up and take a break? Having trouble not wanting to get up and going for a 1 min walk around the office? Here’s a solution - drink lots of water! You won’t have much of a choice 😉

You’re not breaking up the slow death of sitting!

You’re covering ways of helping your body prepare for both desk performance AND variable movement!

Essentially you will be able to consider yourself a MULTISPORT athlete!

Yes, JUST LIKE Bo Jackson 😉 

Over the next couple blogs, we’ll be covering plenty of great ways to break up your desk training with some easy movements to keep you at the ready for everything else you want to be great at!

This will include specific things to address all areas of your body!

So make sure and STAY TUNED!


  • Sitting is NOT the new smoking - You just happen to be a DESK ATHLETE!
  • Working at your desk will NOT slowly kill you - but it will be helpful for the other activities in your life if you mixed it up a bit.
  • Start Cross Training - It doesn’t have to be difficult. Just explore movements that are different from those you always do at your desk.

Are you having issues like pain and stiffness when working at your desk?  We can help!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.