Bodies at Work

From treadmill desks to $1,000 chairs, the marketplace for health-conscious office furniture is booming. But what do you really need to invest in?

Johns Hopkins Health Review, Spring/Summer 2015

If sitting is the new smoking, I have a pack-a-day habit. Like most Americans, I lead a sedentary life. I’m a writer, and in the run-up to a big deadline, I might sit at my desk for 12 or 14 hours a day. I belong to the growing cohort of home workers, so my morning commute is a mere seven steps from bedroom to office. How convenient—and yet how bad for my body, hunched over a laptop again when it could be ambling down the street or even standing upright in a packed subway car. Sure, I intend to take yoga breaks, to get up and stretch. Then a new email pops up. And then another …

In an era of instant communication and rocketing productivity, there’s still no hack that can change our mortal nature. We are flesh and blood, prone to all that entails, whatever we do for a living. “We all bring our bodies to work,” says Dr. Francesca Litow, co-director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Training Program in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Full story (p. 70)

Illustration by Ray Zapanta