One of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the past hundred years or so is the amount of sitting we do. Back in the day in order to put food on the table we had to get out in the fields and grow it or hunt for it.
Add to it most jobs involved hours of intense labor. Now for most people we sit at a desk all day. And my friends let me tell you…Sitting at a desk for 8 hours each day is not good for your mind, body or soul.
To stay fit and healthy, we humans need to move. It’s what we are built for.
Thus we need regular exercise, but that may not be easy or possible, especially if your job requires you to be seated for the better part of the day.
All this sitting has had a dramatic effect on our health especially in the past 50 years.
Research has shown that a sedentary lifestyle can have negative effects on bone health and it can also lead to increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. And make no mistake about it it’s a large reason why obesity rates have skyrocketed since the early 70’s.
If you are stuck behind your desk all day and have a routine of checking emails, going to meetings and having around 5 cups of coffee within 8 hours, the following tips can help you to stay active:
Get A Standing Desk
The popularity of standing desks is increasing each day since they encourage a healthier working environment.
Sitting 8 hours a day will strain your body, and that comes with various health problems. This may be challenging for those whose jobs require them to work on computers and have to spend a lot of time sitting down.
If you work such a job, you can get a new standing desk or put an extension to your existing one. The desk might seem odd at first, but you will get used to it over time.
If you don’t want to invest in a new desk, you can elevate your computer or move to a spot in the office where there is a taller platform for the computer.
You can also purchase an ergonomic workstation or a treadmill desk so that you can work and walk at the same time.
Many companies are happy to invest in stand up desks or ergonomic workstations. Reach out to your HR or IT departments and ask.
Fidget While Working
If having a standing desk isn’t practical, you can replace your work chair with an exercise ball.
Using it will stabilize your abs.
Alternatively, you can take a break after a few hours and walk a few stairs or flights or if you can’t leave your desk just stand up and march in place for a minute or two.
Instead of emailing or sending instant messages to your co-worker, go talk to them face-to-face.
This will not only keep you active but also help you to re-energize and re-focus.
Stretches can engage your abdominal muscles and open up your spine.
The spine and back are the core of your entire body. If there is no mobility or flexion in the spine, your whole body will suffer.
Some of the stretches you can do include:
● Neck rotations. You can do them by slowly moving your head from side to side;
● Wrist Flexions: These are a great way to prevent or alleviate Carpal Tunnel pain. Simply place your palm out and gently pull back with the opposite hand.
● Crossed leg toe reach. This is done by standing up and crossing one foot over the other. Then keeping a flat spine and bending over, driving your back heel to the ground.
● Doorway chest stretch. To do this, stand in a doorway and bring your right arm up to shoulder height. Bend your elbow 90 degrees, then place the palm and the inside of your forearm on the doorframe. Lean into the stretch gently, open up your chest and hold it for at least 20 seconds then repeat with your left arm.
Lunch Hour Mini-Workouts
You don’t have to spend the whole lunch hour working out because there are ways you can get an intense cardio in just ten minutes. It could be just a few yoga poses, some jumping jacks, or even jogging.
Take a Mental Break
Whenever we do surveys of employees in our Corporate Wellness Program asking them the things they struggle with or need help with, one thing wins out every single time… and usually by a very wide margin.
That thing… Stress.
While you can’t eliminate stress completely one of the best ways to help reduce it is through meditation. Even something as simple as closing your eyes and taking 5-10 slow deep breathes an have a dramatic effect.
Another option is to do a guided meditation. These meditations can be an escape from the day’s stresses and often only take just a few minutes. They can often be done right at your desk at work or are a great way to ready yourself for bed after a long stressful day.
We have several guided meditations that are absolutely free on our You Tube Channel. Give it a try!