Science Explains Why We Get So Tired Sitting In Front Of A Computer All Day

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Science Explains Why We Get So Tired Sitting In Front Of A Computer All Day

by Latifah Davis-Cole |
Published on

'Ugh. It’s been such a long day. I am exhausted,' I complain.

'Why? You work in an office, you’ve been sat down looking at your computer all day.'

This is usually the response I receive, followed by an awkward silence because I don’t know what to say. I always feel a sense of guilt flood over me. If I’m tired, then how must doctors and surgeons feel? How must mothers feel running after their children and changing dirty nappies all day? Or construction workers lugging stuff around building sites all day?

If you work in an office and you stare at a computer all day, you must question from time to time, ‘Why am I so tired?’ There have been so many times I’ve turned down nights out with my mates because I just can’t even face leaving my house again. I literally just want to plank on my sofa and binge watch American Horror Story on Netflix for the rest of my evening.

Well, science has finally explained! It is all down to a phenomenon called ‘Mental Fatigue.’ Katie Heaney at Science of Us obviously had the same question as us. So, she decided to do look into it and finally – it all makes sense.

Katie spoke to Dr. Steven Feinsilver, who is the director of sleep medicine at Lennox Hill Hospital says that mental fatigue is really a thing.

Dr. Steven Feinsilver explains: ‘Your heart will pump and you’ll produce adrenaline whether somebody’s chasing you, or you’re just really upset about something. Your muscles normally aren’t sucking a lot of oxygen out of you. With exercise, they will. But the brain always takes a lot of your energy.’

So, as long as you are awake, your brain will demand your energy – quite a lot of it too. It's not just me (or Katie) - a quick straw poll of The Debrief office on this sunny Friday reveals that we all feel the same. ‘I definitely get it,' says social media editor Alyss. 'I definitely find moving around helps, like getting up and going to the toilet or to the kitchen. I literally can’t sit for an hour, I have to get up. But yeah, that really helps.’

'I do get tired,' adds Intern Chloe. 'I suppose it’s because your body isn’t active but your brain is. It definitely has an effect on your body.’

Well, at least now we know why we are so exhausted after a long day at the desk. The next time someone takes a dig, you can back it up with science.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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