As Labor Day rolls around, I wonder how much labor we are actually doing nowadays. 

We all know the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting.  For review, I have written about it before here and here.  

With the amount of Americans who have a sit down job and hours of inactivity, this task is considered normal.  It is socially desirable to pick out your favorite desk chair at Staples that is the most plush and comfortable as possible for a long day of work. We know it’s harmful, maybe even addicting, but let’s not continue following the crowd.  We need a change, and physical therapists should lead it. 

It is going to be interesting to see how this medical collapse will pan out over the years.  It could possibly take a few more decades for this lack of movement to change, no pun intended.  There is no secrecy or mystery behind it, we already have the evidence, as described in this past CNN article.

We have also learned from our mistakes in the past, and it is a good thing; our health can attest for it.  In 1830, Americans consumed 1.7 bottles of hard liquor a week, three times the amount consumed in 2010.  Americans are also smoking less too, only 10% smoke more than one pack a day in 1999 compared to over 30% in 1978.  

My medical intake form includes a check box on ‘alcohol and smoking’ consumption by the week.  It is on there because we know it can affect your outcome under physical therapy services, or just simply overall health status.  Maybe I need to add ‘how long do you sit a day’ box.   My bony ischial tubes and lack of gluteus maximus is killing me right now thinking about it. 

It does seem to take a long time for change to occur.  But we are smarter now, even a significant higher IQs than in 1900.  It shouldn’t take us decades, even centuries, to alter this crippling behavior majority of Americans are now enduring. 

We can continue to educate with mediocre results (at least I have!).  Patients are shackled to their desks.  They can’t leave them to move around during the day as they have to get their work done.  

Get involved, check out the Xtension Desk.  I know it is a little trivial to promote a product.  However, it’s not the product, it is the behavior I am after.  I want to have skin in the game or a dog in the fight as they may say.  You should too.

stand up desk : Xtension Desk





  1. Would be great to see companies embrace the idea of more movement throughout the day, walking meetings, or even “wellness breaks” where stretching, light body weight movements, and other ideas would enter corporate america.

    Sadly it seems most companies are stuck on productivity, if you aren’t producing at or near 100%+, it seems like these ideas fall on deaf ears. Until that is… health insurance costs rise because people are sitting too much.

    1. Hey Matthew,
      I agree and I think companies are coming around to the concept now. I would like for our profession to be the one to lead this movement.

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