We’re living in a day and age where it’s become increasingly common for employees to sit at a desk all day. This type of sedentary lifestyle can have a host of negative health consequences both short-term and long-term. If you spend the bulk of your day sitting at a desk, it’s important to take measures to exercise and engage in other healthy activities.
Health Risks of a Sedentary Job
According to a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, “sedentary behavior, including sitting for extended periods increases the risk for developing dozens of chronic conditions, from cancer and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.”
Some of the other less serious but troubling symptoms include a strained neck, bad back, tight hips and overall stiffness. If this goes unchecked for years and years, it’s going to leave you in rough shape. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to minimize these issues and stay healthy.
Preventing Health Risks Through Activity
One of the best ways to prevent health problems is to engage in plenty of activity throughout each workday. This doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but staying active will help your muscles and bones and make you feel better as a whole.
Experts recommend walking whenever possible, and “even a snail-like pace of 1 mph would burn twice the calories of sitting.” During your breaks, try to go for a brisk walk so that you’re not sitting sedentary for an extended period of time. Even five or 10 minutes can have a considerable impact.
Stretches and Exercises
One of the simplest ways to stay limber and alleviate stiffness is to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. It’s becoming more common for workplaces to use ergonomic desks that can change positioning to accommodate sitting and standing. If your workplace utilizes this type of desks, you should definitely take advantage. Otherwise, just make it a point to stand up for a few minutes every so often throughout the day.
Some other exercises include stretching by doing yoga poses such as the “cat” or “cow” position. You can also stretch your hip flexors for three minutes per side once a day. Consult this guide from the Washington Post for more details.
The health concerns that can stem from sitting at a desk all day aren’t something to take lightly. They can really have an adverse impact on your long-term health and wellbeing. But by being proactive and engaging in a few activities and exercise, you can stay in better health.
Want to learn more on getting the most from your career? Check out the PrideStaff career best practices.