Friday, December 20, 2013

Business 101: The Hidden Dangers of Being "In the Zone"

“The Zone" .  A phrase that brings giggles when we read it because a lot of us have experienced it.

“The Zone"  is that tunnel-like vision you have when you are working on a product.  The ability to block everything  out while you are working….noises…distractions….eating.  It's the time tunnel-like experience that starts with a click of the keyboard and ends with the phrase, “Is it really midnight already?" . And I've worn the ability to get in “The Zone"  like a badge of hard work honor for the last few years.

That is… until two weeks ago.

Now,I’ve never been an athlete. Never had a broken bone. My health has been pretty normal throughout my 46 years.  I try and keep my weight at a decent level.  I started walking regularly for exercise over the summer and joined a yoga class to get some flexibility in my old age.  I try and eat a varying diet although I know I could probably do better. A real "yawner" kind of health chart.

But the one thing that I did not pay attention to was the health of my legs and spine.

You see…I’ve always been a huncher. As a kid. As a teenager. As an adult. "Stand up straight" was my mother's mantra. But I continued hunching,especially as an adult….an adult with a computer job.  And that hunching has now led to a very painful experience. One that I would like to share so it might spare someone else what I have just…and will be going through.

It appears, in all the years that I have been cranking out work on my various computers, I was putting horrible pressure on my lower back from not sitting in my chair properly.  As a result, the lower half of my back now feels like Neptune’s trident is wedged in there. They believe one of my discs is bulging from having my spine push on it from an angle for too long.  In addition, the lower part of one of my legs feels like a burning steel rod is inserted there.  I liken it to being invited to a bbq and having to sit on the grill for the event. They don’t know yet what is going on there, but it's probably related to the other.  I have 4 weeks of physical therapy to help relieve some of the pain and hopefully get me back to “normal" . 

Why am I telling you this?

Well, because in the first few days of trying to figure out what was going on with me, I learned a LOT about the legs and spine….and how important it is to “keep ‘em movin’" .  Especially if you do work at a desk.

It may be great to crank out a product in one day but the health risks may outweigh the work ethic.  I encourage you to read the following articles so that you are at least informed about some of these various health problems that can arise from sitting too long in one position.

Back pain from sitting at desk: … ting-desk/

How sitting too long can result in blood clots: … -clot.html

What you can do to help reduce the risks : … 95618.html

Right now, I cannot sit for more than 15 minutes. I also can’t stand for more than 15 minutes.  Being a “jack-in-the-box"  is not conducive to good work.  Either is being on painkillers. 

This is not meant to scare…but to inform.  I just wish I had known more about this earlier.