Staying healthy at the office can be extremely challenging for people working in the corporate world. Most jobs require long hours of sitting at a desk in front of a computer, and that’s after a long commute of sitting in the car. Our necks and shoulders get tight, we have low back pain, and often carpel tunnel issues as well. There are several recent studies that are calling “Sitting the New Smoking”. Long periods of sitting (4 hours or more without getting up) have been linked to significant increases in heart disease and type II diabetes. But what can you do to avoid this when you have a desk job?
There are some simple ways to improve your health at the office, and it starts with movement. It’s important to take micro breaks during the day, at least once an hour, where you get up from your desk and move your body. Try standing up for your next phone call or walking over to talk to a colleague rather than sending an instant message or email. Instead of sitting down in the conference room for a one-on-one meeting, put on your walking shoes and take your meeting outside for a walk around the block.
Another great way to get some movement into the day is to do a chair yoga pose every hour or try some squats against the wall. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Ask your management team about getting a standing desk. Take the initiative to start up a walking challenge with your colleagues where you track your steps on a Fitbit or a free phone app. Talk to your HR team about starting up some onsite fitness classes at the office. Or set up some chair races to add a little bit of extra fun with your colleagues into your day. All these little things add up in a big way and can start to create a healthier balance in your life.