Author Topic: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??  (Read 10551 times)

Trudie

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Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« on: April 29, 2016, 07:29:43 AM »
I'm within 3-5 years of FIRE, and due to my job (accountant) and commute I have nagging tightness in my hips, hip flexors, and lower back.  I regularly exercise, which consists of "core" work outs with handweights and a fitness ball, running (I train for distance races - 10K and half marathon) and biking.  I've done some yoga (probably not enough) and also gone for PT and chiropractic a few times, which helped.  I'm no triathlete or athletic superstar, but I pride myself on my disciplined, regular approach to exercise.

There are things I fancy doing with my FIREd life, some of which involve good old fancy hard work outside.  I love gardening and am seriously thinking about a second hort-related career.  At a bare minimum, I would want to be able to enjoy caring for my own gardens in FIRE.

Yet -- these days I find myself losing the will for the physical side of the work -- digging holes for trees, the physical labor of bending and stooping... stuff I used to be able to do for hours.  I'd like to think that once I'm standing more than sitting and can work out the kinks that all is not lost.

What's been the post-FIRE experience of other desk jockeys??

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 09:28:48 AM »
My tight neck loosened up considerably.  I still have some discomfort and it will never go completely away because it is nuerological (cervical dystonia) but without the stressors and without spending 9+ hours a day with neck crooked to monitor height, I get a lot of relief.  I've stopped taking daily ibruprophen as a result.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 09:47:24 AM »
I'm just over a year out from my desk job. I was not anywhere near as active as you are during my still employed time (I barely did any exercise let alone training for races) but within a month of quitting, I started swimming, weekly yoga and lots and lots of walking (developed piriformis in one hip for a while due to the walking!)

Don't forget the fact that you can actually get a good night's sleep every single night makes a world of difference in how you feel and your energy levels - I think it took me 6 months of no alarm clock and some serious marathon sleep sessions during that time before I self-regulated back to a somewhat "normal" sleep schedule. But the ability to sleep for 10 hours if I wanted (needed) to? Priceless.

I have zero issues with my back and almost nothing going on with my neck any more. I did used to get serious aches in my lower back - to the point where I thought I had a kidney infection and saw the doctor (and was told that sitting/slouching in front of a computer for 10 hours a day with minimal walking around was causing it).

But I also have lost around 110 lbs since I quit too (actually over about a year and a half - I changed my diet completely too). I think the combo of no more desk sitting, exercising some every single day and losing a large amount of excess weight was what did it for me, so my info might not be as useful to you. ;)

But I do know I am like night and day in regards to activity and fitness level. I feel like a completely different person too.


Trudie

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 10:11:27 AM »
I'm just over a year out from my desk job. I was not anywhere near as active as you are during my still employed time (I barely did any exercise let alone training for races) but within a month of quitting, I started swimming, weekly yoga and lots and lots of walking (developed piriformis in one hip for a while due to the walking!)

Don't forget the fact that you can actually get a good night's sleep every single night makes a world of difference in how you feel and your energy levels - I think it took me 6 months of no alarm clock and some serious marathon sleep sessions during that time before I self-regulated back to a somewhat "normal" sleep schedule. But the ability to sleep for 10 hours if I wanted (needed) to? Priceless.

I have zero issues with my back and almost nothing going on with my neck any more. I did used to get serious aches in my lower back - to the point where I thought I had a kidney infection and saw the doctor (and was told that sitting/slouching in front of a computer for 10 hours a day with minimal walking around was causing it).

But I also have lost around 110 lbs since I quit too (actually over about a year and a half - I changed my diet completely too). I think the combo of no more desk sitting, exercising some every single day and losing a large amount of excess weight was what did it for me, so my info might not be as useful to you. ;)

But I do know I am like night and day in regards to activity and fitness level. I feel like a completely different person too.

Congratulations on your new-found fitness and weight loss!  It is a gift -- particularly the increased energy.  When I was heavier and less fit I didn't want to do things when we traveled... walk distances, and that sort of thing. Now I find that I have no fear and this sense of adventure has added value to my life in innumerable ways.

Tyler

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2016, 12:57:35 PM »
I used to get terrible neck pain, likely a result of poor posture and internalized stress.  After FIREing, I have been pain free ever since.  Even after returning to work part time the pain has not returned, and I attribute that to striking a true healthy balance.  It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Eric

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2016, 05:12:40 PM »
It's not my lower back, but my upper back, shoulders, and neck.  They are ALWAYS tight.  2 days off on a weekend are not enough to get them back to a relaxed state.  I'm pretty sure it's just where I carry my stress, so I'm hopeful that it will go away once FIRE'd.  Sorry, only speculation at this point, can't confirm it will happen, so I guess it's not much help!


But I also have lost around 110 lbs since I quit too (actually over about a year and a half - I changed my diet completely too).

That's amazing!!  Congratulations!

desk_jockey

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 07:37:27 PM »
As the user name indicates, I'm still working on FIRE.  Will let you know in a few years. 

gman

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2016, 08:21:20 PM »
Little over a year FIREd from a IT job  sitting and looking at a screen a good portion of the day. All the neck and upper shoulder soreness and tightness is gone along with the associated headaches. Even though I have increased my exercise routines (tennis, walking, biking and weights) the hip and lower back soreness and tightness is about the same. Not bad enough to take any over the counter meds.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 08:23:09 PM by gman »

FrugalShrew

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2016, 09:31:37 PM »
As the user name indicates, I'm still working on FIRE.  Will let you know in a few years.

So glad you answered this question directed personally to you :)

I sure hope my back pain and neck pain will go away when FIRE'd. In the meantime, it's great to hear all the inspirational tales from others.

jim555

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2016, 06:29:19 AM »
Everything feels better once you have FIRE'd.

MsRichLife

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2016, 06:30:49 AM »
Gosh I hope so. I have chronic back pain and I truly hope it improves once FIREd. +-66 days of work to go!

misshathaway

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2016, 06:56:40 AM »
Yes! I had a desk job programming in IT. I had lower back pain every day. This morning I was cleaning out the medicine cabinet and came across the bottle of ibuprophen that had been in my desk drawer. I had to take it every day multiple times.

This was even though I swam every day and made a point to get up and walk around once every 2 hours. I know that should have been more frequent but it is hard to do when you are engrossed in something. I also had the monitor and desk set up so that everything was ergonomically correct.

I am 7 months out now and the only back pain I experience is from old fashioned hard physical work like snow shoveling or bending down repeatedly to weed. I still spend about 3 hours a day at the computer but not all in one stretch.

BTDretire

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2016, 03:42:30 PM »
My job requires some lifting, 6 years ago I herniated two discs in my lower back.
I have continued to work although I spent about 4 years on pain meds. About 15 months ago the pain moderated and I stopped the meds, recently it got worse and after about 3 weeks, I made an appointment with the doc. Within 4 days after making the appointment the pain decreased to where I'm not concerned,  (of course!)
 So, I'm hopeing after I retire, at the end of this year, my back problems will become
something I used to have. I'm going to be optimistic!

Mr.Tako

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2016, 03:07:59 PM »
I guess it depends upon the day.  Most days my back is pretty good - no issues.  I'm hardly sitting for more than 1 hour in FIRE and I think that helps.

Some days I overdo it working on a project and put my back into a bad state.  The nice thing is?  I can wait a few days to heal up before I start again.  I set the rhythm and pace, so I can ease up when necessary.

G-dog

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2016, 07:20:48 PM »
It's not my lower back, but my upper back, shoulders, and neck.  They are ALWAYS tight.  2 days off on a weekend are not enough to get them back to a relaxed state.  I'm pretty sure it's just where I carry my stress, so I'm hopeful that it will go away once FIRE'd.  Sorry, only speculation at this point, can't confirm it will happen, so I guess it's not much help!


But I also have lost around 110 lbs since I quit too (actually over about a year and a half - I changed my diet completely too).

That's amazing!!  Congratulations!

Also upper back for me. Much better after 10 months of freedom. Still some shoulder issues from sports injuries and not keeping up fitness level and exercise. Better sleep, and SO. MUCH. LESS. STRESS. Plus not sitting in a crappy chair all day staring at a crappy monitor...

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2016, 11:59:55 PM »
The occasional neck and shoulder aches I would get from stress have gone away completely after FIRE. However, after several months of FIRE, I was getting pretty bad lower back pain, to the point where I was having trouble sleeping. It took me another month to figure out, I was spending more time at my desk at home, doing internet things I was no longer doing at work. It wasn't 8+ hrs per day like when I was working, but it was enough to take it's toll due to my cheapo desk chair at home! I switched around some chairs at home and found one that resolved the problem, and haven't had the lower back pain in a couple months now.

risky4me

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2016, 12:22:19 PM »
   Getting out from behind a desk was one of the reasons to push me to quit my full time job about 10 months ago. I could tell it was taking a toll on me when I could no longer loosen up my shoulders even with doing mid-day stretches. I still have a desk at home, but when I work I only sit for a few hours and then get outside and do physical stuff- no more shoulder tightness.
    Increasing the range of my activities really helps. I get sore from physical work, but as the work constantly varies, I am always sore in different spots and it really does feel good to know that I am working muscles that haven't been worked enough! Overall health is much improved exceeded only by my overall happiness :)

libertarian4321

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2016, 06:10:49 PM »
I used to get back aches all the time, sitting in an office all day, pretending to be busy.

Never getting up except to get coffee or go to some lame meeting (where, of course, I'd sit for 2 hours).

When I retired, the back pain went away almost immediately, because I no longer sat, hunched over a computer for 8+ hours per day.

Stachey

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2016, 08:33:52 AM »
It's only been a little over a month for me but the big improvement that I have noticed so far is in my right hand and arm.  Working with that mouse for 10+ hours a day I'm pretty sure I was this close to carpal tunnel damage.  I tried to take a lot of breaks at work but it was always difficult when we were crazy busy.

I still have back and shoulder pain from years of being hunched over the keyboard but I'm starting to exercise a lot more than I did when working and am starting to notice improvement.

21runner

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2016, 08:59:24 AM »
I'm afraid my back pain is just now starting to set in. I sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, 4-5 days a week. I can tell my health is diminishing already after working here full time for around 4 years now. I'm a very active person outside of work, but the lower back pain is starting to become a deterrent. This is probably the main reason I want to be able to retire early. I don't want to sit at a desk my whole life only to retire when I'm old and can't do anything by that time.

Urchina

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Re: Desk Jockeys -- Did your back feel better when you FIREd??
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2016, 08:26:23 AM »
I took a homemaking sabbatical for several years but two years ago went from working part time (teaching) yo working a very flexible full-time (teaching plus a second job that's mostly a desk job). Within a week I physically felt much worse. Leg veins ache. Shoulder and back are tight. I recently asked for and got a standing desk and it helps a lot, buy it's clear that a desk job is not good for my body, evennpart-time. The scary thing is that I barely notice it now because it's the new normal, but it was really obvious when I transitioned back in.

It's one of the things that will probably have me transition out within a couple of years.... sooner depending on how some upcoming personnel changes play out.