The adverse health effects of practising a primarily sedentary lifestyle have been documented time after time by researchers worldwide. Fortunately, there are several methods to mitigate the health consequences of sitting behind a desk all day.
Tips To Remain Healthy at Your Desk Job:
1. Be sure to clock in a decent number of active minutes during some part of the day.
Including physical activities into your daily schedule can significantly alleviate your stress levels, help keep you in good form and do all sorts of wonders for your health.
It is frightening to learn from scientific studies that even your sweat session at the gym may be insufficient to overcome the effects of sitting too much. So, commit yourself to be active for at least five to ten minutes for every hour that passes.
After spending eight hours sitting at work, that is about one hour you spent moving versus sitting. So, when you take a break, instead of grabbing for your smartphone, take a walk around the workplace. Take your empty water bottle with you and bring along your colleague as both of you head towards the pantry.
If you want to increase your step count, head to the washroom a couple of floors up by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Make an effort to communicate with your colleague in person rather than emailing each other. Alternatively, park your car further away from the office building and walk. Also, remember to do some stretching at your work area every half hour or so to keep the blood flowing.
There are also many desk stretches that you can do to ease aches and pains resulting from poor sitting posture. Do not forget to stand up and walk away from your desk at least once an hour. It improves not only blood flow but also your mental health.
2. Correct your posture.
If you find it challenging to move around as often as you initially hoped, the least you can do is correct your posture when you are on your chair. Bad posture can lead to back pains, headaches and breathing difficulties. Who wants to deal with those things? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
To sit properly, relax your shoulders. Keep your forearms and knees parallel to the floor where possible. Sit up straight and look forward without straining your neck. Keep your back against the chair. If there are places where your back does not comfortably meet the chair, especially in the lower back region, use a backrest or cushion.
Try to get an ergonomic chair or a standing desk, if your company have them. These options will improve your posture and overall health. By right, your company should care about the health of their employees in the first place.
3. Look after your diet.
If you have been lowering your guard, you could gradually begin to ingest hundreds of extra calories a day from eating lunch out, bored snacking and your chocolate milkshake.
Do not fall into the unhealthy habit of eating junk foods or consuming too much. Instead, prepare a nutritious yet yummy lunch at home and bring it to the office. Sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes are perfect; they can be prepared easily and offer plenty of good calories.
It is also essential to stay hydrated if you want to remain sharp at work. Sure, you can chuck a can of energy drink. However, energy drinks have plenty of downsides, but even in moderate amounts, they can make you jittery, affect your sleep (so you are tired the next day) and increase anxiety and stress in some people. Replacing them with water supports your body to function optimally, without the peaks and troughs of caffeine. Staying hydrated also allows your body to send clear signals about thirst and hunger, making you less likely to munch on a pack of chips. So, be sure to have on hand a reusable water bottle at work.
4. Your mental health is just as important, so do not forget about it.
When you are bombarded with so much work, it is easy to forget just how fragile our mental health is. Decorate your work desks with items such as a desk plant and framed photographs of your loved ones to re-energise your mental health. If you are not even close to a window, it is a wise idea to purchase a happy lamp that mimics natural daylight. This will introduce some of the mood-boosting advantages of natural sunlight to your work desk.
Final 2¢: One More Thing
Just because you work at an office desk for eight hours a day does not mean you have to return home and sit in front of the television for another eight hours. Look for ways to work active time into your life outside of work. Sign up for a gym class, head to the jogging track early in the morning, or take a stroll with your loved ones in the evening before dinner.
Even if you are healthy, spending all day sitting does harm to your health. However, with some planning, you can incorporate more movement into your daily life.