It's become widespread enough to get its own name. Enter the sitting disease. Chances are high you're in line to get it too because anyone who sits for work is susceptible. And the fallout is harsh. Organ damage, heart disease, over-productive pancreas, and more. The list of ill effects to the body resulting from an inactive lifestyle require an article dedicated to that alone.
The basics are this: Your body was not made for inactivity. If it were, we would have stumps for legs and look more like a bean bag chair than a primate. So what can desk workers do to prevent that kind of negative fallout?
Here are 5 ways you can still be active, even in an office setting.
- Grab every opportunity to help others.
Photocopies to be made. A coffee run for your boss. Not only will you be thought of as a super nice person, you'll be spending less time at your desk and more time moving about. Worried that people might take advantage of you/this? Actually, you want people to take advantage of you when it comes to running errands. Because the more time you spend moving about, the better it is for your body. If you are worried that your desk work will suffer, train your brain to become highly productive when you are at your desk by avoiding time drains. You may be surprised how much more productive you become when you allow yourself to become slightly busier.
- Take breaks every hour.
There will be days when there will be no need for you to run office errands for others. Should you shelve being active that day? Nope. Take a break at the top of each hour. Set an alarm so that you remember to do so. Walk to the break room. Walk up and down your flight of stairs. Go outside and breathe some fresh air. Get the blood flowing through your body through motion or massage.Release back tension by using a handheld massager. You can even keep your back healthy through massage, so one of those tools are a worthwhile investment in your health.
- Alternate between sitting and standing at your desk.
Standing desks and desks that are adjustable are flooding the market. We understand why. Now, you can stand as you make that phone call or write out that letter. Get an adjustable desk and you can have the best of both worlds. Stand for a bit, and then when you're tired, sit down. The goal is to keep your body moving about and not remaining still.
- Stretch it out.
Stretches are a great way to maintain activity. Particularly if you've already used your hour break and have run enough errands for the day, but you still feel stiff and need to unwind. There are any number of stretches you can do while sitting in an office chair that will help get the blood flowing through your limbs. Try twisting to each side. Or stretching your arms straight up to the ceiling. Or leaning down and forward so that your head is resting on your knees. Think of moves that will target stiff areas. And you'll be feeling better in no time.
- Get your heart pumping during your lunch break.
Before you chow down on your sandwich, go outside and run a lap, or do 100 jumping jacks. This is one of the best ways to add activity into your office life. Bring an extra shirt to the office and some deodorant so you won't worry about breaking a sweat. Get your heart beating fast for 10 minutes. And then once you've sufficiently worked up an appetite (and changed your clothes) eat your lunch in celebration. You'll feel more energetic after your mini-workout and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
Most of all, remember you don't need to resign yourself to catching the sitting disease. Keep yourself healthy and happy with just these few adjustments and additions to your work day.