Your office job is aging you in ways that you may or may not realize, and we’ve got proof. To help you understand how, we’ve put together a list of three research-backed ways the office is making you older, and what you can do to protect yourself.
1. Sitting Still All Day Long
A recent study (2017) found that women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with little physical activity have cells that are biologically 8 years older.
Yes, eight years.
The study completed at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that “elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity have cells that are biologically older by eight years compared to women who are less sedentary.”
This study supports the notion that cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle.
So, what can you do?
- Despite the grim discoveries, researchers found that women who sat for long periods of time but incorporated physical exercise into their day did not show the same aging as those who did not exercise.
- So, the answer is simple. Start moving more at work! Swap out the traditional ergonomic office chair for an active sitting office chair to burn 20% more calories, improve blood flow to the brain, increase circulation, and ward off aging!
2. Computer Screen
Prolonged exposure to blue light, such as the light that emanates from your devices (think computer, phone, etc), and even artificial light bulbs could have a negative effect on your aging process.
New research at Oregon State University suggests that the blue wavelengths from these devices can cause damage to the skin and brain cells.
A study was conducted by a researcher named Jaga Giebultowicz to determine how blue light affects skin cells. During her study, she found that the common fruit fly responded negatively to daily 12-hour exposure to a similar blue wavelength that is emitted from phones, computers, and other common devices. The findings were shocking– the light exposure accelerated the aging process.
Eileen Chow, a faculty research assistant in this lab notes, “Human lifespan has increased dramatically over the past century as we’ve found ways to treat diseases, and at the same time we have been spending more and more time with artificial light,” she said. “As science looks for ways to help people be healthier as they live longer, designing a healthier spectrum of light might be a possibility.”
The findings are naturally quite scary for office workers as a majority of their day is spent in front of a computer screen.
So, what can you do?
- Wear blue light glasses while working on your computer or phone. Blue light glasses help filter out the blue light wavelengths and also protect the eyes from digital eye strain and a disrupted sleep schedule (which can also cause the skin to age faster).
- Switch the settings on your device to block the blue light. This is typically called ‘Night Mode.’
3. Slouching in Your Office Chair
We all know to some degree how important good posture is. Most people know that maintaining good posture is key to reducing back and neck pain, however, what some people may not realize is that good posture is also important to keep the central nervous system working efficiently.
Research shows that people with good posture are healthier and actually live longer.
Poor posture may deprive the body and brain of proper oxygen intake. Poor bent over posture affects how well the heart pumps blood and even how well you can breathe. Therefore, without good posture, the brain, heart, and lunges cannot function efficiently.
So, what can you do?
- Use a posture-correcting office chair to ensure that you are maintaining good posture throughout the workday.
- Follow an exercise routine that focuses on strengthening key postural muscles and stretching out the shoulders and back. You can find a variety of different office workouts on the CoreChair Instagram Page or YouTube Channel
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