Think about your average day. You probably sit at your desk for the majority of the workday, drive home, eat dinner, and watch TV, browse the Internet, or read until bedtime. Maybe you make an effort to include an hour at the gym or an after dinner walk with your family. But even with this exercise, you are still sitting for the majority of your day. A sedentary lifestyle is not healthy, and its negative effects are not mitigated by a regular exercise routine. But not to worry! There are many simple changes that you can make in your everyday routine to promote a healthier lifestyle, even if most of your day is spent sitting at a desk.
What is “the Sitting Disease”?
A sedentary lifestyle has recently been referred to as “the sitting disease”. Recent studies have found that the average American spends at least 50-70% of their day sitting down. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to many health issues, including:
- Heart disease.
- Certain types of cancer.
- Greater body fat.
- Hormonal imbalances.
As mentioned above, spending an hour a day exercising does not mean that you have an active lifestyle. This is especially the case if you’re spending 10+ hours a day sitting down. You might find it difficult to stay active during the workday. But, there are many ways that you can promote a healthier lifestyle and reduce your risk of a sedentary routine.
Avoid the Sitting Disease at Work
Here are several tips for moving around during the day and preventing sedentary issues.
Take Frequent “Exercise” Breaks
Just getting up and walking around for 1 minute is better than sitting in the same position for hours on end. Set an alarm for each hour and try to take a quick break from sitting. If you need to keep working, you can simply stand while looking at your computer for a few minutes. Or, you can do things like calf raises in a sitting position or squeezing a stress ball.
Other everyday office tasks will count as “exercise”. Instead of calling or emailing a coworker, walk down to their office to discuss a project. Take a quick walk to fill up your water bottle or make a cup of coffee. Use the bathroom on a different floor in the building so that you take the stairs. These are small things that you can do every day to give your mind a quick break from work and keep moving around. A brief break from work has actually been shown to increase productivity.
Utilize Your Lunch Break
Try to stay active during your lunch break. Walk to a nice spot outdoors to eat your lunch. Or, take a quick walk with a coworker. You could even schedule a walking meeting with a coworker.
Get a Standing Desk
Many companies are utilizing standing desks in their offices. These desks allow employees to do their work while standing instead of sitting. Of course, moderation is key. Standing all day has its own challenges, so if you use a standing desk, take breaks to sit down.
These are just a few simple ways to increase your movement during the work day. For more tips, you can contact our office.