How often do you get up and walk around during a typical day of work? Do you have to stand up a lot, or do you mostly sit at a desk for 8+ hours staring at a computer? Is the only exercise you get during a work day your trip to the bathroom or break room?
For many of us — myself included — getting exercise and moving around at work is sometimes a tough thing to do.
Studies have shown that sitting down too much during the day can lead to shorter life expectancy. Scary, huh? So, check out these simple things that can help you stay healthy even when you’re glued to your comfy, swiveling office chair all day.
Stretch It Out
Just because you’re sitting in a chair all day doesn’t mean you have to let your body get stiff and uncomfortable. By doing a few quick stretches at your desk, you’ll prevent many of the typical pains of sitting down for long periods of time, such as back pain, carpal tunnel and neck pain.
For your back, you can lift your arm over the top of your head and reach toward the opposite side, while keeping your back upright. This helps to loosen those tight back muscles.
Your neck can be stretched by taking your hand and grabbing the opposite side of your head, then gently pull your head toward your shoulder.
And finally, you can stretch out your arms and shoulders by taking one hand and grabbing the opposite hand, then stretch both arms up toward the sky.
Oh, office breakroom, you are ever so inviting to my desires. With your machines full of sodas and candies, you tempt my sweet tooth.
No! Fight the urges to partake in a sweet or fatty treat while at work. As appealing as those snacks look, they’re also detrimental to your health.
A combination of inactivity and unhealthy snacking can result in a deadly formula for weight gain and health problems.
Instead, pack a snack to take with you to work every day. Make a healthy smoothie, bring a refillable cup for water, or pack some pretzels and hummus. These are much healthier options, and will keep you from gaining any unwanted weight.
Stay Mentally Healthy
Being healthy isn’t just about your physical health; having good mental health is also important.
When you’re sitting a desk, staring at a bright computer screen all day, your mind can sort of turn to mush. I’m sure a lot of us feel drained when we leave work each day, wanting nothing more to get home and relax in front of the TV.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take breaks at work from your computer screen and save your sanity with these easy tips:
Go on a walk around your building during your lunch break. This will keep you moving, and let you enjoy the beautiful, outside world.
If you have the time, use half of your hour long lunch break to go to a nearby gym for a quick workout. A 15 minute jog is all you need to do to stay active.
Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle during your break, or when you have free time. This will keep your brain engaged and challenge it to do something outside of your normal work agenda.
Watch a funny video on YouTube, or read a magazine during your work breaks. It’ll lighten your mood, and re-energize you to make it through the rest of the day.
It’s not difficult to live a healthy life while at work, but it will take some initiative on your part. But the results will allow you to have a much happier and healthier work life!