Being office or desk-bound can generate some unhealthy routines, so here’s how to add some positive grooves to your daily ritual.
Sitting is the new smoking.
At least that’s what some researchers are saying. And while that may sound a bit extreme, the truth is sitting is terrible for our health.
Research has also shown that the harmful effects of a day’s worth of sitting can’t be undone by a daily workout, so we need to be moving regularly.
Bearing in mind most jobs these days involve sitting in front of a computer, is there anything we can do?
Here are some steps you can take to at least reduce these negative effects.
1. Stand as much as possible
If you are able to use a standing desk at work, do it! This is a great way to improve your health and eliminate unnecessary sitting. Even something as simple as placing your laptop on top of a shelf works perfectly.
2. Move around frequently
If you can’t stand while working, include some movement throughout your day. Take a walk every hour to fill your water bottle or chat to the receptionist, and do some squats, push ups, jumping jacks or lunges (not while talking to receptionist).
3. Exercise at your desk
You could also include smaller drills while at your desk, for example:
- arm swings
- focusing on an object far away for 10 seconds
- flexing and extending your fingers
- doing dips on the arms of your desk chair
- turning your head from side to side to stretch the neck
You don’t need to move to the Himalayas to benefit from meditation. Simply take small, intermittent breaks and take some slow, deep breaths in through the nose. This is even more effective when things get tense or you need to prep for a big meeting.
5. Be kind to your eyes
A lot of this article has been about sitting, but the other harmful part of desk jobs is the prolonged staring at a screen. Take small breaks to focus your eyes elsewhere (oh look, it’s the receptionist again).
6. Leave your work at your desk
End your day with some activity which signals home time. This could be a hobby such as playing an instrument, reading, walking the dog or hitting the gym. Spend evenings winding down with family and friends.
Sitting at a desk all day staring at a screen is no guy’s idea of fun, but sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
By implementing the 6 healthy habits above, you can at least be sure that you’re making your desk job as harmless to your health as you can.