5 Ways to Combat the Negative Effects of Working a Desk Job
If you’re one of the many millions who work behind a desk, being sat down for prolonged periods can do more harm than good to both your mind and body. When you think about it, you are usually sat down for roughly eight hours while you’re in the office. And after factoring in your commute and downtime at home, you’ll find you’re sat down for 90% of the time you’re awake.
Understandably, this does no favors to your health and wellbeing. In fact, research has proven that excessive sitting can increase your risk of all kinds of health issues, including depression, diabetes, and heart disease. It’s time to take stock of your health, so before you head back to work, here are some things you can do to combat the negative effects of working a desk job.
Take the Stairs
If you work in a high-rise building, try and use this to your advantage. Whether you’re rocking up to the office to start your shift, on your lunch, or going home, instead of opting for the elevator to get you to your desk, why not take the stairs instead? Simple measures like this can go a long way in keeping yourself fit and active. While there will inevitably be days where you can’t think of anything worse than climbing multiple flights of stairs, if you have any concerns about your health, getting into the habit of using the stairs is key for keeping active.
Stretch Your Legs
Make sure you have regular breaks throughout the working day to stretch your legs. If you’re the type of person who snacks and eats lunch at their desk, you need to change your habits now. Excessive sitting and staying in the same position for hour after hour can increase your risk of chronic health problems like heart disease, so making time to stretch helps keep your muscles strong, flexible, and healthy.
Adjust Your Office Chair
When you consider how long you sit on it every day, your office chair needs to support you in all the right places and keep you comfortable throughout. One of the best ways to diminish the harmful impact of sitting all day is by adjusting your office chair. Doing so can benefit your posture and general health. To ensure you’re sitting correctly, make sure you alter the height of your chair, so your feet are flat on the floor. Other things you can do include moving your keyboard closer to you and sitting up straight. If you’re not happy with your office chair, make sure you speak up and talk to your boss, otherwise, you’re at a higher risk of lumbago (lower back pain) which may require you to use a lumbago belt to relieve symptoms.
Set Hourly Reminders
As you get stuck into your workload for the day, it can be easy to lose track of time. Even if you’ve said the night before that you’ll start being more active in the workplace, saying and doing are two completely different things. Regardless of what you’ve got on your agenda, setting hourly reminders on your smartphone to get up and factor in some exercise is key for looking after your health and wellbeing.
If you work in a bustling city, use your lunch hour as an opportunity to get outdoors and go for a walk. A half-hour stroll around the area can clear your mindset and help you return to your desk feeling more productive and ready to take on anything. Instead of sitting at your desk chatting to colleagues for the duration, getting some natural light and fresh air in your lungs will help you think more positively too. If you’re serious about getting fitter, you can even go for a run to get your heart pumping. To keep track of how much exercise you’re doing, you can download a step count app on your phone that should give you the motivation to continue.
If your job involves you sitting at a desk for hours on end, you need to understand how important it is to keep active throughout the working day. Excessive sitting can lead to a myriad of health problems down the line, so taking action now and using any of the above tips will help you on your quest of combatting the negative implications a desk job can have.