Our bodies are meant to move, which is why sitting at a desk for hours is bad for your health. Sitting for long periods has been linked to a handful of health concerns, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Research has shown that less sitting and more activity can positively impact your health. Quite simply, take advantage of any chance you get to stand up instead of sitting during your day. In this blog, we’ll share some tips on how to be more active at work.
Tips on How to Be More Active at Work
While you likely can’t completely avoid sitting during your workday, there are some other options that can help keep you moving. Here are some tips:
Take breaks and move
Be smart about when and how you take your breaks. “Micro breaks” can be used to stand up, stretch, or walk around. It can be as simple as taking a walk to the water cooler or the restroom. If you have a space to do so, take a minute to do some light stretching like squats, lunges, or wall push-ups.
Get a standing desk
The purpose of a standing desk is to raise your computer or workspace high enough so you can work and stand at the same time. All in all, it can keep you on your feet for more of the day. Try alternating hours between sitting and standing. If you’re not able to get a standing desk, find tasks throughout the day where you can move, like standing up while making phone calls or reading hard copies of reports.
Schedule a walking meeting
Similar to the last point, stand up when you can — even if it means for meetings. If you don’t need to be at a table, take your colleague’s meetings outside. Or simply, walk down the hall to your colleague’s office instead of sending an email.
Choose to bike or walk to work
If you live within biking or walking distance from work, take advantage of that! Putting in that extra time to exercise will help offset those long hours sitting. Those that don’t have the luxury of a short commute can look for other ways to stay active, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking during your lunch hour.
Do seated stretches and exercises
Just because you’re seated doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise. Some of our favorite exercises while sitting are oblique twists, seated bicycles, leg lifts, and seated shoulder press. In addition, you should be regularly stretching your shoulders, neck, and hands as well. Here are some other good exercises to try out at the office.
Use a fitness tracker
Fitbits and Apple Watches are all the rage recently — and for good reason, too. They can track your activity and encourage you to get more exercise. The average person should get at least 10,000 steps every day. If you don’t have a fitness tracker to remind you to get up, set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to stand up every once in a while.
Keep Your Posture Correct
If you’re sitting at a computer, it’s important that you have the correct workplace ergonomics. Here are some tips:
- Your computer screen should be an arm’s length in front of you and should be the proper height so you’re looking straight ahead.
- Place your keyboard and mouse so your elbow is at a 90-degree angle.
- While you’re sitting your hips and knees should also be at 90-degree angles.
- Your head should be directly over your shoulders.
Putting in the effort to stand up more or get more steps in can have a profound effect on your health. Not only can it burn calories, but it can help you lose weight, increase energy, decrease aches and pains, and improve your mental health. What tips are you going to incorporate into your workday? How else do you stay active while working? Let us know in the comments.
For orthopaedic questions or concerns, give Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery in Lincoln, NE a call at 402-489-4700.