Anyone who has worked at a desk job for an extended period of time can tell you the struggles of sitting all day; the sore back, neck, terrible posture, and half-asleep feet. Not to mention Karen from marketing who brings in doughnuts almost every morning.
While sitting all day and indulging in office treats may at first seem like an amazing part of your gig, these perks are most likely damaging your health. In fact, a new study has found that sitting too much is the new smoking. According to Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, “If you are sitting for six hours a day or more it increases the risk factors for a variety of things.” These “things” include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Along with the health risks mentioned, you can also expect to experience joint and muscle pain due to lack of movement and bad posture. With this new found information, researchers have come up with a few solutions to keep you active during your long day at the office.
Below are five easy steps to staying fit while sitting at a desk all day:
- Workout at your desk
- Add a 10-minute exercise break into your day (that won’t disturb your co-workers or boss)
- 50 stand-ups from your chair
- Squatting into your chair
- 100 arms rolls forward and 100 backward
- 10-15 desk push-ups (if allowable)
- Take a walk break
- Most workplaces allow two 15 minute breaks, one before lunch and one after. Use those breaks to walk around the building or take a stroll outside
- When walking to your meetings, take the long route
- Walk to a coworkers’ desk instead of emailing them
- Take the stairs
- Skip the elevator or escalator
- Using the stairs adds a little work out into your day if you are unable to fit in the 10 minute exercises I have mentioned above
- Switch your seat/Take a stand
- Sit on a stability ball instead of an office chair
- Balancing on a stability ball engages your core muscles
- Engaging core muscles has proven to improve posture along with back and ab muscle health
- Standing up every hour or preferably every half hour throughout the day has proven to reduce health risks
- Get on your feet to take calls or stand while reading emails
- Purchase a standing desk if your workplace allows to keep you on your toes
- Drop the unhealthy snacks and fast food
- Say no to office snacks and potlucks
- Pack a lunch every day to avoid turning to easily accessible fast food
- Keep healthy snacks at your desk to fill cravings and help you avoid reaching for office treats
Taking these small steps to becoming a more active and healthy person at work can immensely impact your health and carry over into your personal life at home. So deny Karen’s doughnuts and get up and get moving to ensure that you live your healthiest life, desk job or not.