For people who sit down in front of the desk most of the day, health and well-being aren’t always easy for them. So, eating well and moving enough during the day in order to avoid weight gain, stress and flagging fitness should be followed.
Sitting down all day long can be one of the worst things for our mental as well as physical health, as it increases the chances of heart disease and weight gain, among other many illnesses. We sit down at the office, after that we sit in our cars, and once we are home, we sit to eat or watch TV!
So to stay healthy in a work life which requires sitting all day following measures should be taken
WORK AT WORK
Our bodies are made to move, but your job can require you to sit in front of a computer for eight hours straight or may be more. To lower the harmful effects of being inactive without sacrificing productivity, try these tips
- Take the stairs, avoid elevator.
- Walk to a coworker’s desk rather than calling or emailing him or her.
- When someone comes to your desk, you can stand up to talk and use that chance to stretch your limbs.
- Try and place things you use during work, on a shelf which is high enough that you have to stretch or stand up to reach them.
- When you need to meet your coworkers, suggest them to make it a walking or standing meeting rather than sitting down.
- Take a brisk afternoon walk around your work place.
- If you are running errands during lunchtime, walk briskly to your car and while coming from your car. Make sure you park far away from the entrance of your work place.
STRETCH YOUR DESK
Few of these easy stretches can help ease the tension and strain in your joints and muscles. You can do them while sitting or standing. Breathe normally and easy while doing the stretches, don’t force or bounce the stretch either
- Shrug your shoulders – Breath in deeply and lift your shoulders up to your ears. Hold the shrug, then breathe out and drop your shoulders to normal position. Repeat it three times.
- Stretch your arms – Clench your fists and stretch your hands out in front of you. Use your fist to draw circles in the air, first in one direction, then in the opposite direction, do it for a total of 20 seconds. Shake out your hands.
- Give yourself a bear hug – Place your hands on your opposite shoulders or your shoulder blades if you can reach that far, hug yourself tight and breathe in and out for 15 seconds. Repeat it 2-3times
- Stretch your neck muscles – Drop your head and tilt your chin as far as it can go. Hold for a few seconds, then gently lift your chin and tilt your head back. Drop your left ear to your left shoulder and hold for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side too. Repeat the whole process 2-3 times again.
- Do leg extensions – For balance hold on to the seat of your chair. Extend both of your legs in front of you, they should be parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes five times. Lower your legs and repeat the process again.
One of the reasons you start feeling uncomfortable after sitting for a long time period is because of how you are sitting.
- So, while sitting at your desk make sure you are not leaning forward, your arms are close to your sides, your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are bent at 90 degrees, your feet are flat on the floor and your lower back is supported.
- Good posture is one of the key ways to reduce the physical stress placed on muscles and joints. Maintaining good posture starts with our chair. Chair should be the proper height for your body and the seating surface should be just below the bottom of your knees.
- When sitting, make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor and the armrests are just slightly below your elbows (you can measure this by sitting in the chair and dropping your arms to your sides).
- Keyboard height should be 1-2 inches below your elbows so that your hands while you are typing, are in a neutral position.
It’s so important to remember to hydrate.
- I know that sometimes an entire afternoon will go by and you will realize that you haven’t filled your water bottle a single time! Sitting at a desk all day makes it difficult to remember, though. So you can start with putting reminders to hydrate. Once you get in the habit, it becomes so much easier and will make a big difference by helping you to stay healthy!
- Get yourself a reusable water bottle and ALWAYS keep it on your desk. Try and drink at least one full bottle before lunch, and one full one before you leave for home at the end of the day. Drinking water will keep you fuller and less tempted to snack on junk or empty calories.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TIME AT HOME
Take advantage of your time at home, if you are sitting all day at work, to make up for all that sitting. It doesn’t have to be one giant and intense workout. You could just practice yoga or a long walk while you listen to a podcast or any music you like or that soothes your nerves or calms you down.
- These days walking lunches are becoming increasingly popular among office-bound employees. Eat at your desk only, while you are working.
- After eating go for a walk. 30 minutes of brisk walking is more than enough to increase the heart-rate, giving you an important workout.
- Walking increases serotonin and endorphin levels, making us happier and these are also known to decrease our cholesterol levels as well as lower your blood pressure.
- Keep a pair of comfortable walking shoes in a drawer at your desk, put your earphones on if you are walking alone and enjoy your walk. Working and working out can go together and it’ll keep you healthy too.
ADJUST THE BRIGHTNESS OF YOUR SCREEN
- Staring at a screen for long periods of time every day has a negative impact on your eyesight and can cause computer vision syndrome (CVS)
- So, if you are forced to look at screens for long time periods try to adjust your screen brightness to avoid unnecessary strain on your eyes.
- Ideally the brightness of your screen should match the lighting in your office. If a blank text document glows like a light source, your system is too bright. So, you need to lower blue light emission as much as possible.
- Restaurant food is loaded with extra sugar and salt, so it is not as healthy as something you can cook at home.
- It’s better to have a simple lunch from home or leftovers from the night before.
- If you do eat out, choose fresh and healthy salads or other healthy foods. If you eat well at lunch, you would never want to munch on junk food in the afternoon.
JUST SAY NO
Say, “No thanks,” to all the treats that are passed around the office, that tempts you, like cakes, bagels, doughnuts, cookies, chocolates. Reach for the dried fruit and nuts, If you are really hungry.
LOAD UP ON HERBAL TEAS
Forget the coffee breaks with your friends and colleagues.
Grab your favorite mug and start sampling herbal teas: try red fruits, Holy basil, cinnamon, ginger, mint for example.
Keep a stash of dry fruit or nuts handy. Instead of buying chocolates, candy bars or “health” bars, which are loaded with sugar.
GET FRIENDLY WITH YOUR TUPPERWARE
Save a part of the healthy meal you cook at home and take it to work the next day for lunch. You can add a few chopped veggies and there, you have a great homemade meal to enjoy.
WALK WHEN YOU TALK
Since most people talk on their mobile phones or some people even have this as a work profile. So, they can make it a practice to get up from your seat and go for a walk when you’re talking on the phone.
WAKE UP EARLY
The easiest way to include more fitness into the day is with yoga, cardio, strength training. Get moving while the rest of the world is sleeping. Ayurveda also suggests waking up in Brahma muhurta (wake up at 4am)
TAKE HOURLY BREAKS
Every hour, get up from your desk and go for a quick walk, it could be anywhere, furthest restroom, water cooler, copy machine, colleague’s desk, all in all, JUST MOVE.