How to stay active in an office job? That is a question that made some of us regularly get up from our laptops and walk few paces around the house.
Regardless of the COVID situation, did you know that there has been an increase of 83% in sedentary jobs since 1950? These stats come from the American Heart Association.
According to a Mayo Clinic’s meta-analysis report, the risk of dying from sitting more than eight hours a day was equal to the dangers tagged with obesity and smoking. Sedentary sessions increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by paving the way to obesity, weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
Some other common problems that arise are injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments (as happened to my BIL).
Alarming, isn’t it?
According to observational studies, taking breaks from prolonged sitting positively impacts blood glucose and insulin response.
Amazing how few minutes of break can do wonders for you from head to toe!
So should you quit your job behind the desk or quit work from home?
Of course not!
Because the problem does not lie with doing your job behind the desk or work from home but sitting for extended periods without any activity or physical movement at all, and that can happen if you are sitting in front of your T.V or traveling long hours.
So how to stay healthy at a desk job? We have all the tips, but you need to ‘walk the talk.’ Read on.
Take short breaks
The first step for how to stay active at an office/desk job is to take short breaks, not from work but from sitting. Keep an alarm that reminds you after every hour or so that you need to get up, move around and get the circulation going in your lower body.
Look online for simple stretch exercises that you can do while sitting behind your desk. Most of them do not need a lot of space to be executed. Move your feet in circles, flex and extend your feet to move your calf and front muscles, do sit-ups, stretch your arms and back, flex and extend your neck, and so on. You don’t have to do a lot, yet every small movement counts when improving the circulation in your body.
Take a walk on lunch break
Lunchtime is the break everyone is looking for after hours at work, but you can avail yourself this time to stay healthy at a desk job. Make a routine to walk a bit before taking your lunch. You do not have to walk a mile; simply walk at your place while waiting for your lunch plate to be served. Take a leisure stroll after lunch back to your desk. Of course, you will have to cut back on your meal consumption time, which is not bad. It will benefit your waist circumference in the long run.
Confer while walking
You can confer while walking instead of having a table meeting. If you are on a call, get up from your chair and organize your desk during that while. Move, move, move!!
Physical activity causes the release of endorphins, hormones that sharpen your focus and have stimulating and uplifting effects. Do not be amazed if your colleagues come up with fantastic project ideas during these walk-meetings.
Take the stairs
Consider stairs your best friend. Instead of taking escalators and wasting precious minutes waiting for the lift, take a climb up the stairs. Research seconds the benefits of taking stairs. A study showed that there was significant weight loss in the participants after a three-week stair climbing exercise. You surely do not need fancy gym equipment if your office or home has stairs. They are a lifesaver when it comes to staying active at an office/desk job.
Take time for exercise
All being said, there are no shortcuts to staying healthy and fit. It would be best if you took time out to exercise. Mindful exercise has benefits that go a long way regarding physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. A healthy body and mind can endure long sitting hours whether you work from home or at an office.
Skip the call; visit your colleague
Another mindful way to stay healthy at a desk job is to skip shortcuts to communicate. If your colleague is located on another floor, pay him/her a short visit instead of calling or sending an e-mail.
Keep a count
Our fast-paced work routines can overwhelm and demotivate us to keep up with the tiniest of physical activity. Keeping a count can help us keep inspired and driven to walk those extra steps. The sense of achievement that you have walked steps equal to a mile can do wonders regarding how to stay active at an office/desk job.
Go for home-made
Keeping fit and healthy is a delicate balance between calorie input and output. You may be doing the extra bit physically, but if you are grabbing a donut to eat, do not expect the additional steps to make much difference. Processed foods and simple sugars cause a spike in our insulin levels and leave us energy drained. Try to bring home-made salads, snacks, or lunch items.
Finally, your hydration level is an essential factor in keeping you active and energized to take those extra flights of stairs. Keeping yourself hydrated would benefit your kidney functions and give you an excuse to visit the bathroom a few additional times. That means you are walking a few extra steps and spending less time behind your work desk.
Have any more tips on how we can stay healthy and active at a desk job? Let us know in the comment section.