5 Ways Martial Arts Can Counter Unhealthy Office Habits

Geje Eustaquio at the ONE MASTERS OF FATE Open Workout

Long days at the office can often be professionally challenging, and it can also be demanding on your health and wellness.

Sitting in the office hunched over your desk and staring into the computer screen for a long time can cause back pain and disease.

Doctors recommend getting up from your seat and moving around regularly as a fast and effective remedy. However, for something with more long-term benefits, consider starting martial arts.

Here are five ways martial arts can offset unhealthy office habits.

#1 Martial Arts Counters Poor Posture

One of the chief culprits behind lower back pain is poor posture. Hunching, craning your neck, and slouching are all to blame, and the dangers of poor posture intensify over time and compromise your spine.

For example, slouching causes your spinal ligaments to stretch beyond their healthy limit, which in turn creates more strain on your discs.

When sitting still for a long time, your hamstrings and hips will also tighten up, which can even make standing up straight a challenge.

Since martial arts forces you to engage your core, you will become stronger around the middle and hold a better posture if you have to sit for a long time. This means you will get rid of unwanted stress on the back.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, karate, and taekwondo force you to maintain good posture. Their respective poses strengthen your core and help you develop good posture habits that carry over into the workplace.

#2 Martial Arts Gets Your Blood Flowing And Heart Rate Up

Petchmorakot Petchyindee Acamdey hits the pads with his trainer

An object at rest stays at rest. It is no wonder then why most people feel lazy or tired all the time when they are chained to a desk for at least eight hours every day.

A sedentary lifestyle is known to coincide with higher incidences of heart disease and poor cardiovascular health.

Martial arts can improve heart health tremendously. The heart is a muscle and needs to be worked.

Nothing can jolt your heart more than hitting some pads after a long day at the office. Sure, it offers a cathartic release, but more importantly, training helps raise your heart rate and increases your blood flow.

An elevated heart rate also oxygenates your blood and, together with the increased circulation, you burn calories even after you finish working out.

Intense Muay Thai pad work sessions like those Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy undertakes are what led him to become the first-ever ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion.

#3 Martial Arts Helps Relieve Stiff Joints

Prolonged bouts of sitting can wear on your joints. Just like muscles, your joints will slowly lose strength and flexibility if you do not move.

Overly tight hips and hamstrings are common symptoms of being in a chair for too long. This can affect your gait and balance, which could contribute to spinal compression and poor posture.

Martial arts is an excellent form of physical therapy to loosen your joints because if you want to become proficient at martial arts, then you need a wide range of motion.

For instance, in boxing, good hand-eye coordination and footwork are essential. As you move your body and engage your limbs, you are increasing blood flow and reducing tightness in your leg muscles and glutes.

Compared to other activities like lifting weights or running, which can place uneven loads on your muscles, training in martial arts strengthens your major and minor muscles gradually.

This will help further strengthen your joints and prevent inflammation in them.

#4 Martial Arts Helps Counter Obesity

Malaysian sensation Agilan Thani raises his hands following his victory in December 2019

Weight gain is notoriously associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

When there are snacks in an office pantry, it can become easy to indulge in unhealthy eating habits at work.

These poor nutritional decisions and the lack of any physical exercise is the perfect recipe for obesity. Also, those extra pounds place an added burden onto your already weak joints, causing even more posture and back discomfort.

Since martial arts forces you to repeat moves over and over, like with pad work or rolling drills, you elevate your heart rate and blood flow. Also, this will get your body into a fat-burning state – even after working out.

Malaysian sensation Agilan “Alligator” Thani lost over 120 pounds (approximately 55 kilograms) after picking up martial arts.

#5 Martial Arts Can Combat Disease

More medical studies have suggested an alarming link between a sedentary office lifestyle and disease. These include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, retention of fats and sugars, and a decreased ability to digest food.

Sitting still in the office every day also lowers your body’s metabolism, which leads to higher insulin resistance.

When you sit for a long time, you do not use your muscles or burn energy – especially since your legs are one of your primary muscle groups.

As a result, your body takes little glucose from your blood, which can lead to the onset of type-2 diabetes.

Therefore, when using your muscles in a high-intensity aerobic activity like martial arts, you regulate your blood glucose levels.

Read more: Learn How To Wrap Your Hands In 10 Simple Steps

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