How to Make Your Desk Job a Little Healthier
If you have a desk job, you spend the majority of your days sitting down, which can have a real negative impact on your health. Being bound to a chair most days leaves many with aches and pains, most commonly in the back and joints. You may feel like there’s nothing you can do to make your office job less sedentary, but there are some small ways you can make your work life a little healthier.
Sitting down for prolonged periods can weaken the body and ruin your posture, so make sure you get up and move around every now and then. When you take a break, use that time to stretch your legs, whether that means going outdoors to eat your lunch or simply taking a little walk around the office. Even just standing up at your desk every now and then can be helpful, as it will give your body a few much-needed stretches.
Measure Your Steps
Research suggests we should be taking around 10,000 steps a day, which you’re unlikely to be doing on work days. While this target may be difficult to reach, using a pedometer or a step-counting app on your smartphone will encourage you to fit in as many steps as you can each day. You can keep an eye on your movement and if you’re falling far too short of the recommended number of steps, you’ll know you need to start getting up a little more often.
Do Some Stretches
Your body will really benefit from doing a few stretches each day. If you’d like some privacy to do so, try finding an empty meeting room you can use for a few minutes. Focus in particular on stretching the areas that are likely to feel the pressure of sitting all day, like your back and hips.
Do Some Desk Exercises
You might not be able to leave your desk as often as you’d like, but there are small exercises you can do without leaving your chair. Try small intervals of lifting your feet up and down as though running, and pumping your arms up and down. If you feel your heart rate rising, you’ll know you’re getting some beneficial physical activity right there at your desk.
Change Your Chair
Spending your days sitting in a chair with poor back support can put a lot of pressure on the muscles and discs in your back. Try speaking to your manager about switching your chair for something more supportive. This will improve your posture and reduce your risk of back and neck pain by keeping you in the correct sitting position.
Having a desk job may make your week days less active than they should be, but remember that there are ways to curb the negative effects of sitting. Following these tips will boost your energy, keep your body and posture in better shape, and may even reduce your risk of a number of lifestyle-related illnesses.