Human beings are not meant to sit at a desk all day. Most of us who have office jobs also sit down to eat lunch, commute in a car, bus, or subway train. Then we come home to an evening of watching television, spending time on our computers, or reading. Ugh! That is a lot of inactivity.
Being sedentary for much of our waking hours can result in a whole bunch of health problems. Weight gain, arthritis, diabetes, heart attacks, metabolic disorders, neck and back pain, and many other issues can come into play when we are not moving enough. If you’re not convinced, check out Scientific American’s Killer Chairs: How Desk Jobs Ruin Your Health.
What is the solution? We can always quit our office jobs and become a firefighter, landscaper, mountain climbing guide, or enter some other calorie burning occupation. If that is not practical and if you love your career, here are five practical ways to move more at work:
1. Take a walk during your lunch time.
Go solo or grab a colleague or your whole department and get moving! You can even make it fun with a little friendly competition by using a fitness tracker and app such as Argus. This is a real trend in corporate America these days.
Talk to your HR department. They may even be able to offer employees a device for free (it helps lower a company’s health insurance costs and improves morale if they have healthier employees). It does not hurt to ask!
2. Walk the building stairways during your break.
This is a great calorie burner and will get your heart rate up quickly. You will really feel it in your glutes and quadriceps. Perhaps you can get a few flights in when you get up to use the restroom, get a cup of coffee, visit another department, etc. Use any excuse you can get!
3. Set a timer.
To remind yourself to get up and move at least every hour.
4. Stretch at your desk.
There are actually a lot of stretches that we can do at our desks. To give you ideas, check out 5 Office Yoga Poses (That Won’t Freak Out Your Co-Workers) by HuffPost Healthy Living. You can also Keep light weight dumbbells and a resistance tube in your desk drawer to use when you are on the phone, reading an article on the internet, or going through your email inbox.
Even while you are sitting you can be squeezing your glutes and nobody will be the wiser.
5. Use a stand up desk.
Standing more when we are at work increases our energy, burns more calories, and improves our mood. For more information about the benefits of standing vs. sitting, visit JustStand.org. You can use a laptop desk, box, or anything your ingenuity can conjure up.
You can also do your research and invest in a high quality one at places such as: The Stand Up Desk Store, UpDesk or Varidesk. If you do stand at your desk, please invest in a good anti-fatigue mat. If you take your shoes off behind your desk while standing, nobody will know….
We hope that these five tips will help you get off of that chair and start moving more during your work day. Give yourself some time. Try one new thing a week. Do what works for you. Once an activity becomes a habit, you got it. Congratulations!
Debra struggled with anxiety and insomnia for many years. About five years ago, she started a blog, The Warm Milk Journal, as a way to reach out to others who may be having the same struggles. The Warm Milk Journal has become a popular resource for people in need of a good night sleep and recently won Success Magazine's BlogStar award. Debra holds degrees in communications, law, and education. When she is not blogging she is a social media specialist for a large automotive group company in the Jacksonville, Florida area. When not working, you may find Debra walking on the beach or sweating it out at a nearby Bikram studio.
Main Photo Credit: AstroStar/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Dusan Petkovic/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Andor Bujdoso/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: Marcin Balcerzak/shutterstock.com; Fifth Photo Credit: Gajus/shutterstock.com