Desk jobs are good, but not with 8-hour plus worktimes

Desk Job
(Image credit: Google)

You might love your high-paying desk job very much. But, if you are at it for more than 8 hours a day, your heart might not like it very much.

A study by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College reveals that sitting for over 8 hours in the office increases the risk of developing heart failure by up to 50 per cent.

The headline figures

It was by no means a small study to be overlooked either, as it included 105,677 participants aged between 35 and 70 years recruited from January 1, 2003 and followed up until August 31, 2021 in as many as 21 high-income, middle-income and low-income countries. 

During a median follow-up of 11.1 years, 6233 deaths and 5696 major cardiovascular events, including 2966 strokes and 671 heart failure, were documented.

Desk Jobs

(Image credit: Google)

How can the issue be avoided?

The most effective way to reduce heart ailments among people who work longer hours sitting at a desk, it was found, was to get them to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each day. 

Should that be found difficult to achieve, then here are some tips to help reduce desk job related health problems.

  • Place the monitor and mouse according to your height. This helps prevent slouching.
  • Change your position every 30-45 minutes.
  • Use an ergonomic chair which helps reduce lower back pain by supporting your posture and thereby increasing productivity.
  • Finally, take breaks. Move as much as possible when time permits and perform simple stretches (for neck, chest, torso) too.

For people working from home, avoiding working from the bed is of paramount importance as it does further damage than good. Working from the bed causes one to assume an unnatural position and sleep hygiene gets messed up too. 

However, engaging in productive physical activity will be the most effective way for one to beat most ailments caused by working long hours at the desk for good.

Suresh Subramaniam

Although on the younger side, Suresh, an engineer-turned journalist, has been around the field since smartphones had buttons in them. He has tried his hand at a variety of stuff, including writing articles for a Chennai-based eveninger on technology, automobiles, business and cricket at the beginning of his career. A Chennaiite can hardly escape cinema and Suresh has absorbed his fill of movies.