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.