Stationary Malaise

One of the fundamental challenges for me as an office worker is being so stationary all the time. My commute is long, so I spend at least one and a half hours on my butt in the car. There are some surprising physical repercussions to being seated so long. For the first 2 months of commuting, whenever I stood up, I had a kink in my right hip that took a few steps to shake off. If I got up too abruptly, my right leg would collapse from under me and I would feel instantly…old. It took me a couple of weeks to realize the leg in question was my gas/break pedal leg. It finally occurred to me that the constant pressure on the gas or break pedal (most days, equal parts both!) was resulting in old lady hip cramp-age. I countered this embarassing condition by stretching and walking. Commute aside, though, by and large, I still spend most of my day sitting. I do take a half-hour to go for a walk outside, but once I get back to my desk, before long I’m feeling confined and stiff again. Although I’m grateful (most days) to have a job, I had not accounted for this “side effect” of full-time cubeland with a side of a monster commute.

For sure, as a graduate student, I spent a fair amount of time sitting and writing (or fretting about NOT writing), but I must have taken frequent and lengthy enough breaks to never encounter the kind of stiffness and stationary malaise I currently experience. Here’s the rub: I don’t see any way around sitting on my ass for most of the day in the office. I could certainly stand at my desk periodically or buy one of these to vary the ergonometrics (is that a word?) of my cube. I do stretch in my chair and in fact use an illustrated card deck of yoga workplace postures, a gift from a friend, on a daily basis. The good news is there are small strides I can make to help manage stationary malaise.

But here’s what I haven’t mentioned: How do I combat the mental/emotional stationary malaise of being an office drone?

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