We keep hearing about it. Sitting is the new smoking and don’t we all know what smoking can do? Well, it’s not our fault is it? Work is ever more busy and intense and for the majority of office workers most of the work is executed right there at our desks, sitting while we work on our preferred technology (desktop, laptop, tablet and even smartphone).
It’s no wonder that we can find ourselves sitting in one place for three, four or five hours at a shot before we realize that we haven’t moved a single part of our body save for our fingers. These, of course, have become increasingly more nimble as other parts of our body have practically atrophied.
But what’s a person to do? If your job does not entail physical labor or require you to be out on the street, walking between different locations, or you’re not a personal trainer, how do you stay healthy and in shape while sitting at your desk? Here are some suggestions on how you can do just that:
Intermittent movement is key. Perhaps the very first thing for you to do is to set an alarm that reminds you to move. That’s right, move. For every hour that you are at your desk you should be up and moving around for 10 minutes. Take a stroll around your office, make a cup of tea, do some simple squats or triceps dips at your desk or if the weather is nice, go outside and get a bit of fresh air. Ten minutes is all you need but make certain to do this EVERY hour.
Conscious eating and snacking. When you are sitting at your desk and immersed in work it is easy to skip time for healthful meals and instead you may find yourself snacking on what we commonly refer to as junk. Chips, candies and foods that have no nutritional value may appeal to your need for something sweet or salty and will fill you up but do nothing to keep you healthy and nourished. If you can’t find the time to stop and eat a real meal, pack healthful snacks and a plastic container filled with foods that give you energy and stamina. http://www.prevention.com/tags/foods-energy
Do a little weight training. Keep a set of light weights by your desk and do some bicep and hammer curls when you have a free minute or two. The desk workout will feel good, help you to keep in shape and will work muscles that are otherwise resting for most or all of the day. http://www.livestrong.com/article/470123-arm-exercises-with-weights-while-sitting-at-your-desk/
Drink water. Coupled with forgetting to eat many desk warriors also forget or neglect to drink enough water while sitting at their desk. Keep a water bottle nearby and continually sip from it while sitting at your desk. You don’t have to be running a marathon for your body to require water. http://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/
Don’t forget to stretch. Sitting hunched over a computer is bad for your body and your eyes. Take a moment and stand and stretch. Make circles with your arms, do gentle neck rolls and close your eyes for 10 seconds and give them a rest too. Working at a desk is harder on your body than you probably think so give it the rest that it deserves.
And of course one important last mention even if this is something that isn’t accomplished at your desk. Exercise is important. If you spend the majority of your days sitting at a desk you must schedule in time for exercise. Find something that you like to do be it running, swimming, tennis, dancing or just about anything that gets the heart pumping. Build in the time to do this “fun” activity and the time spent at your desk won’t be so detrimental.
So no excuses now. Get moving.