Recent media reports have highlighted the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. It has been reported that such a lifestyle is as dangerous as smoking! Desktop Lifejacket is software written to protect computer users from a range of illnesses and a shortened lifespan associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
I have a desk-bound job working with computers and I try and keep active by running at lunchtimes and visiting the gym, however this did not prevent me from suffering from the typical perils of having a job where I'm seated almost all of the day. I found that I started suffering from sciatica.
Doctors and physiotherapists recommend that the human body should undergo active movement regularly to prevent a range of cardiovascular diseases and muscular aches and pains. Sitting still for long periods can lead to high blood pressure caused by the build-up of fatty deposits and musculoskeletal problems; such as sciatica.
On the recommendation of a physiotherapist I made sure that I remained seated for no longer than 40 minutes at a time. I wrote the Desktop Lifejacket; a simple application to remind me to take a break if I’d been using the computer continuously for over 40 minutes. When the reminder alarm occurred, if it was convenient, I’d stand up and stretch my back and hamstrings or go for a short walk. Over time this seems to have cured my sciatica.
To stretch my back I’d simply stand up put my hands on my lower back and lean backwards. To stretch my ham strings I’d put my outstretch leg on the seat of the office chair and touch my toes while keeping my other leg as straight as possible. See photos below.
If you are having health problems due to a sedentary lifestyle or wish to reduce the chances of suffering problems in future I hope that you find the Desktop Lifejacket useful.