This research by the University of Arizona claims that’s sitting on your desk for long hours can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. This is not good news for IT professionals spend most of their time on desks in front of a computer.
Long periods of sitting can result in heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and more. Studies show that some level of physical activity during and after the work can help in improving your mindset as well as energy levels. This also results in increased productivity. It is not enough to spend a couple of hours in the gym on weekends. You need to come up with ideas and ways to increase physical activity at work.
Following are some tips that can help you achieve this goal.
- Adjustable height desks
Sitting for very long hours can lead to the weakening of your large leg and gluteal muscles. These muscles are integral for walking or running and if they get weak, you have higher chances of injury. Moreover, your hip flexor muscles get shortened due to elongated seating which can eventually lead to issues in your hip joints. Poor posture can also lead to poor spine health such as disc compression.
To prevent these problems, you can start using an adjustable desk. So, you can work while standing for some time and then sit down for a few minutes when your legs are tired. When you are sitting, sit at the edge of your chair forcing your core to support your back. You can also change positions frequently and try sitting on the floor from time to time. Even if you don’t have a standing desk, you need to get up from your chair every 30 minutes, whether it is to talk to a colleague, go to the bathroom, or just stretching your muscles. These small breaks will add up to 30-45 minutes of movement throughout your day, which is a huge improvement.
- Track your steps
Did you know that every 20 steps will help you burn 1 calorie? This means that 10,000 steps a day can burn as much as 500 calories.
The pedometers that are so popular these days are actually a very good motivation to get you moving. Keeping a daily track of your steps can really push you towards achieving the 10k steps goal. A McGill case study went on to show how increasing the number of steps taken resulted in better sugar control and lower blood pressure.
- Have an active commute
If you live in a country where the weather and traffic allow you to bike or walk to work then make the most of this opportunity. And if the dressing code is not a problem, put on some running shoes or sneakers and jog your way to the office. Walking or running to the office will literally kick-start your day.
Studies confirm that those who bike to work take fewer sick leaves. If the office is far away, then get off the train/tram a station or two earlier and walk the rest of your way to the office. If you are driving, try parking a bit far away.
4. Find excuses to move more
Simply finding excuses to move around more can be an easy and long term way to be more active. Just make sure your management doesn’t see this as an excuse to move away from work.
Good thing is that more and more companies are realizing the importance of exercise for their employees. This is not only good for health but it improves creativity and productivity. You can also take the stairs whenever it is possible and skip the lift. Studies suggest that climbing 8 stories of stairs every day can lower mortality risk by 33%.
You can also browse through some videos at YouTube to learn some simple exercises you can do in your office. You will see instant benefits in terms of more relaxed back and neck muscles.
5. Find the right activity for you
It is a competitive job market and most jobs will take up a huge chunk of your time. It seems next to impossible to work out or go to the gym. However, you do not necessarily have to treat exercise like a drill. You can stay healthy and physically active by indulging in physical activities that you enjoy. It can be a dance class, some sport, swimming, or hiking. Think of it as a hobby. It is reported that those who play a sport have higher chances of staying fit and healthy as they age.
These are a few tips but you can look at your own schedules and job nature to find ways to be more active. It will not just improve your health but also improve your performance.