How You Can Stay Healthy Even Though You Sit At A Desk All Day

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jun 29, 2020

Jun 29, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

Most careers today are office-based. It requires people to be seated at a desk for approximately eight hours every day, with only an hour-long lunch break, usually spent sitting, or doing something that requires very little physical activity.

Spending so much time stationary isn't healthy, especially if it's combined with unhealthy eating habits. This article will look at ways that people can maintain a healthy lifestyle despite this drawback.

The Drawbacks Of Sitting For Extended Periods

The genetic design of human beings is created so that standing upright is the ideal positioning. Although sitting down feels good, several adverse effects can be experienced if sitting is prolonged.

Some of these effects include bowel function being negatively affected, the weakening of legs and glutes, increased weight, and joint problems, especially in the hips and back. Being seated for too long is also associated with an increase in anxiety and depression.

There are also more serious effects linked directly to sitting for too long. These include certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis. The bright side is, there are active steps that you can take.

Breaks 

The average lunch break most companies allow is 1 hour. it's essential not to continue working through this time. This is an excellent opportunity to stretch your limbs and take a brisk walk. Not only will this improve your physical circulation, but also give you a mental break

Studies have shown that breaks improve concentration and improve creativity. The chances are that after a couple of minutes away from your desk and screen, you will feel revitalized and more productive. Whether at the beginning, middle or end of your day, when you take a break away from your desk, be sure the setting and ambiance contribute to your well-being. 

There are at least five ways that mental breaks contribute to your wellbeing. Taking a moment before making an important decision can make a massive difference in the result. Breaks tend to restore motivation and may even assist individuals in staying goal-orientated.

Try not to limit breaks to your lunch hour alone. There are plenty of productive ways to take a break from your screen for a few minutes every other hour. An example would be standing up to make photocopies. Even if you don't have the time to step away from your desk, simply standing up every hour and having a quick stretch can do wonders for your posture.

Eating Habits 

A healthy lifestyle begins with what you consume daily. it's tempting to buy lunch at work or grab a take out meal on the way home. This is especially the case when work is draining, and you do not have time to prepare a nutritious meal.

One way of ensuring that you eat healthily at work is to pack a wholesome lunch the night before and freeze a bottle of water. Eating this way will offset the sedentary lifestyle that office employees often have. 

Having a bottle of cold water handy will also keep you hydrated. It may reduce your chances of wanting to buy fizzy drinks or consuming too much coffee, which has become a common office culture.

If you find yourself consuming too little water, there are mobile apps available that can help you. These apps have reminder alarms that alert you to drink water at regular intervals. You can also set goals on how much you would like to drink each day, and the app will assist you in achieving this goal. 

Fitness

A few hours of exercise per week can do wonders to improve your health. It's not difficult to incorporate 30 minutes of cardio into your daily routine. You can wake up a little earlier in the morning, or even do 30 minutes of fitness training. 

There are also small lifestyle changes you can make. Some of these include taking the stairs instead of the lift, eating smaller meals more often, and installing a step tracker app.

When installing such an app, it would be ideal for you to set a daily goal. You can achieve this by pacing while taking telephone calls, parking your car further away from the building, or walking to nearby locations instead of driving. 

Another small change you can apply is to schedule weekly fitness training for your days off. It will do wonders for your energy level, and you may even find an increase in your self-esteem.

Desk Exercises

The majority of office-based work requires employees to be seated at their desks for approximately 40 hours a week. That means almost a quarter of the time is spent stationary. 

Some exercises can be done while still seated at your desk. These are mostly to relieve tension and improve circulation. One such activity is wrist stretching. It involves pressing your palms together and stretching your arms while doing so.

Doing empty-handed wrist curls can also assist in relieving tension in this area. This particular exercise is helpful for those who use their computer for long hours. Seated leg raises can be done throughout the day underneath your desk. 

For this exercise, you need to sit upright in your chair and straighten your leg until it's parallel to the floor. You need to hold this position for ten seconds and then alternate legs. The benefit of this exercise is that it targets multiple muscle groups.

Another easy exercise is the chest open. For this exercise, you need to place both hands behind your neck while looking down. You then need to bring your elbows together without applying pressure to your neck and then open your elbows to your shoulders again.

The Health Wrap-Up

While sitting at a desk all day isn't ideal, it doesn't mean that we have to compromise our health. There are 24 hours in a day. If work occupies eight of these hours, we still have sufficient time to boost our health. 

Being seated for many hours undoubtedly reduces our circulation and increases our chances of obesity. By taking regular breaks away from your desk, eating more nutritiously, and doing regular exercise, you’ll combat the issues of sitting down for a good portion of your workday.