IT jobs - Do you sit too much?

shochanshochan Member Posts: 970 ■■■■■■■□□□
I ran across this on /.

Sitting Too Much Ages You By 8 Years

After reading this article, it really only discusses women and how diabetes and aging is progressive by sitting too much. This is probably why eventually I will get outta IT and jump into a more physical job (green remodeling).

The last 2 yrs, I have had 2 different IT jobs that involved me sitting 95% of the 8hr work day. I have gained about 30lbs though, which is definitely unhealthy (craft beer is my weakness). I really want to try out the treadmill desk, but I wanted to get some feedback from TE peeps about these, if you have used them. I also need to start gradually lifting some weights and doing some cardio. I have a really comfortable work chair, and sometimes I am reclined on most days. Before that, I was an in-field network engineer, so I was on the move most days, and I think it helped keep my weight down or at least to a level that was healthier.

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  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I sit all day but go for walks. I work out though and play soccer, so I don't really care. Not interested in standing up at a desk, but some people enjoy that kind of thing!
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    It is one of the downsides of this career for sure. I've started doing the standing desk deal for half a day. I try to at least take a walk at lunch but that doesn't always happen. My home office has morphed into home gym as well so I can lift some weights even if I get stuck without much free time. Another of the great perks of working from home.

    Before doing all this I started to pack on the pounds as well. Not to mention the back pain from sitting 8 hours a day.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,724 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Usually go for 2 walks and get up and make a phone call while I walk around as well. I also get up for lunch and go to the cafeteria or go out to eat on occasion.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I typically sit a bit at my job but I work out when I get off work and during the day I take two 15 min breaks to walk on a trail near the office. I do mostly weight lifting and some cardio portion at work when I do walking. :)
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  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think almost all of us sit more than we'd want. I try to balance it out with exercise and diet. When I'm at the office I'm up and about a fair bit, when I work remote I'm more static (and get more work done).

    The alternative, a full manual labor job, probably ages you quite a bit too. Maybe not by gaining weight or being too lazy, but bad shoulders, back, knees, etc.
  • cbigbrickcbigbrick Member Posts: 284
    I go for walks, stretch my arms over my head and drink water.

    Compression socks have helped too. They now make compression dress socks. Word of advice, hang them up to dry. They will last longer.
    And in conclusion your point was.....???

    Don't get so's just ones and zeros.
  • SmilymarcoSmilymarco Member Posts: 62 ■■■□□□□□□□
    During work -> yes (almost all the time)

    After work -> no (beeing a triathlete has to do something with it.... hehe) right now i have 4x swim, 2x cardio and 1x strenght training a week...
    well... during exam time (i study after work) there are a few more hours in the chair and a bit less training...
  • PocketLumberjackPocketLumberjack Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have a sitting desk and and a standing desk in my home office. I also have my bike on a trainer setup and I try to spin 3 times a week. I love working from home because I have the freedom workout while working. I try to split my day between standing and sitting about 50/50, but if I really get into a project I can spend the whole day either standing or sitting. From what I have read it is important to balance standing and sitting all day, just getting a standing desk at work isn't going to help as much as getting more active when you are home will.
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    I had some weight gain when I first started but then I fixed it..

    1) Cook your food, prep and cook your lunches. Don't buy take away

    2) Don't drink your calories!

    3) Reduce your calorie intake (i.e. just eat less)

    4) Lift weights at least 3xtimes a week

    5) (Optional) Go for walks or have a physical hobby

    Doesn't matter if your job is physical or sitting on a desk , if you eat unhealthy you will put on weight and you will age quickly

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • ChinookChinook Member Posts: 206
    I been in the industry for almost 20 years now. During that time I went from fit to so fat my feet often hurt from my own weight. To compound things, I have often worked at home meaning my office was 25 feet from the kitchen so I put in just a few hundred steps in a day. I got tired of the health issues & took control of my life again a few years ago. What I did;

    - I cook all three meals a day. If I travel, I've scoped out what I can eat that's healthy-ish at fast food (potatoes, chili, pita). I stopped using hotels and started using AirBnB so I could get a kitchen and make my own food.

    - I bought a desk that rises up and down and I stand at it sometimes. This gets me out of my chair and at least standing. If I sit, I sometimes use a medicine ball.

    - I grocery shop and buy healthy food. Nothing that is boxed outside of boxed cauliflower or other veggies. Rather than follow a diet, I just eat what I see as natural food.

    - I don't drink anything with calories other than a coffee or two in the morning (and the occasional pint of beer at the pub). I allow myself one "be bad" day per week (order a pizza, go out to the pub for beer and junk).

    -I sleep 8 hours a day, every day. This has made a HUGE difference in everything. I wake up easier, I am sharper, I study better, I am less stressed and frustrated.

    - I do a full fitness routine of 45 minutes of cardio & 45 minutes of weights every day. I will skip it the odd time but it's regular for me even on Friday. I now miss it if I don't go.

    Physically, I went from having a noticeable belly, double chin & blood pressure so high I'd sometimes sweat just from walking to literally being a Luke Cage type where I wear XXL shirts not for my gut but for my shoulders and chest. I feel great.

    But it goes beyond physical. It completely changed how I feel about myself & how I interact with people. When I was overweight, I felt like people didn't respect me or were silently mocking me. Now, I dress much better (suit jackets, button down shirts, good jeans) and I feel far more comfortable in meetings or with initial meetings. And, I now like dressing well whereas before I'd try to hide my body with loose clothing or big jackets. I will honestly say it's helped me in many ways with my career.

    I think a career in IT is the absolute worst for your body. You sit almost all the time. You work under immense pressure & missing meals is all too common. This is especially true for those road warrior types who live out of their car. And add on you being on call and having your life shifted all over the place. It's very easy to let your health slide so don't. It'll catch up to you very quickly.
  • ally_ukally_uk Member Posts: 1,145 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Technically I am not alowed to sit for to long I have bad circulation in my legs. I was operated on when I was 18 im now 31. Recently I have been having problems with eczema to the extent where I am scratching the leg until it is bleeding heavily. My weight is good I run three times a week.

    But curently I am in constant pain / soreness and unfortunately my leg is getting worse. I am terrified of blood clots developingicon_sad.gif

    Seeing the doctor today they refused to operate unless my leg is ulcerating. I am not leaving until they address the problem I get about 4 hours sleep if I am lucky I usually wake due to either pain or my legs feeling like they are on fire.

    I am a young man in my prime having this sucks! Relieving the itch feels like heaven but the after eggect is hell bleeding legs, soreness and not to mention the emotional effects I can't wear shorts because my legs are grose.
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  • securityorcsecurityorc Member Posts: 58 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I too am worried about sitting too much. Even though I go for some type of workout everyday, and try to walk as much as possible, I don't think this does enough to mitigate the ill effects of sitting. I definitely started dreading the chair, and I've only been working for a couple of months.

    At work, I leave my water bottle farther away from my desk, so I have to stand and walk a few steps every time I want to take a sip. Even when sitting, I try to do some calf and heel raises, or just raise my legs from the floor and hold. I also try to stretch whenever I get a few moments of precious standing time. Every hour, I take a walk to the bathroom, just splashing some cold water on my face and clocking some steps in. I walk during phone calls, and I take the stairs whenever I have the option.

    At home, it's easier, because I can alternate between normal sitting, squatting on the chair, sitting cross-legged, sitting with legs on desk like a boss, etc. icon_lol.gif And I am standing whenever I am watching a video / series / movie. I also do some sort of physical exercise for every 30 min spent at the computer. I don't have a standing desk, but I would like one, for work in particular. Sadly, my office only uses standard desks, and in my country there isn't much adoption of the idea of standing desks (most people I talked to about them didn't even know what I was talking about).

    So, I'm on a study spree to get the skills needed to better dictate the parameters of my environment, instead of being served what the workforce deems standard conditions icon_study.gif
  • Codeman6669Codeman6669 Member Posts: 227
    i started getting knee arthritis from sitting so much. I hate it honestly. I havent bought a standing desk YET, although i will. I literally stacked my monitors KB and mouse on a series of boxes on my desk and now stand for 5+ hours a day. Thats helped a lot. I also go on two short walks a day, and sometimes one at night. Standing desk is the way to go
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I had a six pack and I lost it because I gave up on myself......

    Now, I'm trying to lose this belly that I have. I went from weighting on average of 140 to 196. I'm working on losing 50 pounds and it's not going that well. I should have never have let this happen. I sit down about half of the time that I'm at work. I make sure to do a full workout twice a week but sometimes I'll do a partial workout for on an 'easy' day.

    I'm working on eating healthy. I'm working on getting into the habit of drinking water in the morning and eating a salad (lettece, spinach, sweet pepers with meat) so I can have some vitamins and protein. I'm also trying to increase the amount of water that I drink a day to a gallon but the minimum that I drink is a liter through out the day. I do drink energy drinks from time to time. If I do drink them throughout the week then it'll be once a day.

    I do eat junk for once in a while but from my previous experience, I can work out and get in shape and eat some junk. But since I'm working on losing this weight and inches from around my waist, I need to ruck a few miles three times a week to make that happen.
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  • ChinookChinook Member Posts: 206
    The job that really killed me wasn't so much sitting in an office all day. I'd gone to work for an MSP & I was on the road going to clients all the time. In a few short weeks the floor of your back seat is full of coffee cups and bags of fast food. To further complicate matters, a lot of time you simply can't run off the job at lunch so you're forced to stay on the call/support until you're starving. It's easy to say "eat at the clients" but some companies don't allow it & it's bad manners to some folks. So the result is you run out to the nearest place to get food and it's almost always unhealthy. Unfortunately WAY to many managers have no sympathy for guys in that role and fail to understand how stressful it is. By the time you get home you're wiped out and just too tired to go workout.

    When I initially gained weight, it was just being fat but as time passed I started feeling the effects of it. The first was I'd sweat just walking or I'd start sweating sitting in a meeting and be wiping my forehead. It was high blood pressure. Then I had a bout of something called gout and OH MY GOD it was horrible. It from a buildup of uric ? acid in your joints and it feels like being tortured. Something as simple as a sheet on your toe is absolute torture.
  • shochanshochan Member Posts: 970 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I've started drinking those Suja juicing drinks to supplement eating breakfast or lunch. They are really healthy, look them up. I can get them at Sam's Club (8 btls for $18 or approx. $2.25 per drink). I have used the Nutribullet smoothies for bfast/lunch and those are delicious too, I just have to hit up the grocery store for fresh veggies twice a week.
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  • DntH8MeDntH8Me CISSP | CASP | CySA | LPIC-1 | Sec + | ITILv3 Member Posts: 73 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Try a stand up desk, I recently moved to this one from Varidesk

    2019 Certification Goals: ​CEH | PenText + | CISM? | stop procrastinating
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 802 ■■■■■■□□□□
    After 3 back surgeries, I try and be more active so I don't have any more problems. I try and walk as much as possible. They gave us a golf cart to drive around to make it easier, but I tell them I would rather walk if it's not an emergency. Fitbit tells me if I haven't met my hourly goal. So, I'll get up and walk around just to hit that goal. Even if it's walk outside to look at the weather and walk back in.

    I do sit too much still, but that's the nature of the job...
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    There are days where it does get too busy that getting up is a luxury. However, that is like 10% of the time. I make a point to go for a walk or go to the gym. It is important to do that to clear the mind.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    @Chinook impressive!

    I still think it's not the 'sitting all day' is the problem, it's eating unhealthy.

    I see a lot of tradies, brick layers, and guys with physical jobs and a lot of them have beer is what you eat

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Chinook wrote: »
    Then I had a bout of something called gout and OH MY GOD it was horrible. It from a buildup of uric ? acid in your joints and it feels like being tortured. Something as simple as a sheet on your toe is absolute torture.

    Yep, gout is absolutely horrible. I've had two bouts and both times I was basically hobbling around for a week. After the second bout, I cut my soda intake by about 80-90% and switched over to unsweet tea, water and milk. If I go out to eat I'll usually order soda, but at home or at work it's usually either unsweet tea or water.

    I'm not a particularly big fan of unsweet tea, but I'll take drinking it over having a gout flare up again. Also, with unsweet tea I don't have to worry about the artificial sweetners that they put in diet sodas not to mention the fact that I can't stand the taste of them.
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    IT jobs

    Just to add that this applies to literally any job that isn't a trade.
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you job allows, get up and walk as much as possible. Rather than email or calling, go visit the person you want to talk to.
  • jcundiffjcundiff Member Posts: 486 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's not just not eating healthy... 20 years ago when I worked construction, I ate like a horse, drank like a fish, and smoked like a freight train... gym? Yeah right... I ranged between 195-210 (6'3) Most of the general contractors we worked for called me DB for Dozer Boy... I switched careers and moved into IT, and never thought about my eating habits or the lack of physical activity with the desk job. 20 years later I was up to almost 360 at my highest.

    Down to 328 now and goal is to get back down to 250 by the end of the year... The only way to do this where it sticks is diet and exercise to the point of a lifestyle change... I recently moved from commuting 3 hours away and staying 3 days and then driving home to being 100% remote. So now I do 30 minutes on the bike for cardio (resistance is 6 out of 8 goal is to work up to 30 minutes at icon_cool.gif and lift weights with my high school athlete son daily. The cigarettes are long gone, regular soda gone, energy drinks gone, limited diet soda intake (meals only)... eating healthier drink 6-8 (min) 20 ounce bottles of water a day. Recently got son and I Fitbits so the hourly reminders to get up and move are nice.

    Was going to a resistance band gym most of last year, didnt drop much weight due to building muscle while losing fat, heart rate has gone from mid to high 90s down to the 40-60 range at rest. Took a couple months off over the holiday but managed to maintain my weight. Invested in a bench and free weights for son so I use them too and saving 135 a month vs the band gym. Our bike showed 325 miles on it from when we 1st got it, our goal is to roll it over by the end of the year. :)
    "Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard" - Tim Notke
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,107 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It did mention that exercise counteract the effects of sitting.

    For motivation, read Davos 2017: The bosses obsessed with exercise. The bosses in the article do not look their age; I underestimated their ages by at least 10 years.
  • keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,922 ■■■■□□□□□□
    i converted over to mostly "healthy" life style and have been that way for many years. Workout 3 days a week and still do light exercises on the days i don't. I juice daily, eat like a vegetarian most of the time, rarely beef, no pork and very little bread. no alcohol and don't smoke.
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I worry about weight and health at times.

    Before working in IT, I used to have manual labor jobs, so I never had to worry about weight gain. Maybe every 5 years I would gain 2-3 pounds.

    Now that I'm in IT, I have gained 20-30 pounds.

    I'm trying to lose weight.

    What I'm doing:

    So far what works for me is cutting up some veggies and having them on hand in the fridge for a snack. (with dip)

    At work I park as far way from the entrance as I can, so that I force myself to walk farther to work.

    I will get to work early and bring my walking shoes. I try to walk a mile or more each day.

    No chips or junk food in the house.

    Meals are prepped each day.

    I try to hit the gym, but sometimes I'm, mentally wiped out from work.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

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  • Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It comes down to what you eat and drink. Water is your friend, cut out the soda/beer etc. I was listening to a podcast recently and it said if your carbs have more than 1 ingredient on the packet then don't eat it. That leaves you with a vast amount of good healthy food that doesn't need salt/sugar/corn syrup etc added to make it flavoursome. If anyone is serious about changing their eating habits then use I've been using it for ~2 years now and I find it extremely useful. It links up with various exercise tracking apps so if you are working out then you can add your workout calories to your daily total. If you can't find a food that you've consumed on the app then you can add it in if you have the nutrient information. If not, just add something similar but I will always over estimate this as I don't want to be conservative and be going over my daily limit. I'm currently running a deficit of ~500 calories on average and it's working well for me, even with an average 90 minutes cycling per day.
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  • ChinookChinook Member Posts: 206
    It looks like the general consensus is that this job is hard on your health. I've always viewed IT as different than typical white collar work than traditional office pillars. We are always on & the level of "input" is beyond what most white collar careers deal with. The other day I was trying to work, Skype was lit up, my email was endless and everyone needed an answer now. The constant distractions combined with the new world where everything is elevated to very important is draining & annoying.

    And take something like being on call. Even if the phone doesn't ring, you're still "wired" waiting for something to happen. That lifestyle is conducive to poor health and poor eating. You finish a day of work and you're just drained and feel like sleeping or having a cold 6 pack. I've spent 24 hours at work on an emergency. I can't ever remember seeing HR or Accounting or Legal doing that.

    My personal BIGGEST pet peeve is when I worked in an office. I would often eat at my desk and I'd be about to take a bite of my food or be chewing and someone would barge into my office with a concern. Um, maybe when you see a guy eating give the guy some space for 5 minutes. Or those days when you walked in the office with a morning coffee only to be swarmed by staff because of some issue. I was once doing backfill for a tech & I walked in to a client, first day. 8 AM and there is all the C Level executives telling me the entire network is down. I'd never even been to the place but they wanted an immediate answer. Luckily there was a quick fix, but stresses like that drive you to eat poorly and/or have a couple of beers after work to relax.

    @Jcundiff: Contrary to what a gym will tell you, you don't need much in the way of equipment to get fit. There is something called the Ghetto Workout where just your body weight is used. The idea is it's for people who can't afford a gym and/or equipment (or maybe don't have the space). Congratulations on the weight loss though. That is impressive.
  • keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,922 ■■■■□□□□□□
    also if your strapped for time T25 has a food and workout plan that is 25 min a day. to be honest we all have enough time to work out if you cut the tv off and stop playing video games
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
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