Staying fit and healthy while working a desk job can be really tough. Spending most of your day sitting down behind a computer screen with little room to maneuver can have severe consequences for your body. Thankfully there are several simple tricks and tips that you can make the most of to stay healthy at your desk job.
Unfortunately, more and more people live sedentary lives nowadays. They spend most of their day sitting down without engaging in physical activity. However, failing to adapt your lifestyle to accommodate your job can have a serious impact on your well-being, as there are many side effects that you can expect to experience as a result of your desk job. You can be healthy despite working full time at a desk; it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might expect to get started. So, if you’re ready to find out more, then read on to upgrade your quality of life today.
Have Good Posture
The first tip is to make sure that you can maintain good posture throughout your shift. This is extremely important to remember as slumping can happen after just a few minutes of sitting at a desk. Having the right posture can help to promote good circulation and avoid musculoskeletal imbalances and misalignment. Make sure that you are sitting up tall in your chair with your shoulders back, your back straight, and your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle.
You can also work on your balance and stability by choosing your seating area. You can do so by sitting down on a swiss ball or Bosu ball. Sitting on a fitness ball helps you to keep your core engaged, reduce lower back pain, and improve posture.
Promote Good Circulation
Research shows that sitting down all day is detrimentally linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality. There are numerous musculoskeletal problems as well. Additionally, your circulation can be affected. Your legs and feet begin to experience a variety of different issues and you can develop an array of aches and pains in your neck, back, and hips as a result of your constant seated position.
A great investment that you can make to promote good health when sitting down all day is compression socks, as despite common misconceptions these are not just for the elderly or ultramarathon runners. You can wear compression socks all day to encourage great blood circulation, and you can learn more straight from the source to see whether such an investment could benefit you today. At the same time, try to incorporate supplements that increase circulation.
Stand Up Regularly
Another tip to stay healthy at your desk job is to stand up regularly. You can put an alarm and stand up hourly for a minute or two to keep your blood flowing. You can also try to stand up while you are working. You can remain standing while taking business calls and even get a standing desk. If you work in an office, you can walk to your colleague’s desk instead of sending emails or calling him/her. Plus, if you take public transportation, try to avoid sitting and you can even get off a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way.
Eat A Healthy Diet
One of the most important steps that you must follow if you wish to achieve great health while working a desk job is to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. Far too many people fall victim to a cycle of convenience and laziness when working a desk job, as it’s much easier to go out and buy a fast food meal rather than creating your own healthy meals at home.
You need a whole host of vitamins and minerals to ensure that your brain can function at its full potential each and every day! The best diet that you can consume is a whole-food diet that’s made up of organic foods from all macronutrient sources like good fats (avocado, nut butter, nuts, butter, coconut oil, etc.), healthy proteins (salmon, chicken, and steak), and complex carbs (fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains). Meal prep is an office worker’s best friend, as you can make a bunch of meals on a Sunday evening ready for the week ahead to maintain convenience.
Stretch & Exercise While Sitting Down
Doing a few simple exercises while sitting down at your desk can improve your flexibility, muscle tone, and strength.
Every few hours, you can take some time to stretch:
- You can stretch your hands, arms, ankles, and neck by doing rotations – Rotating those body parts in both directions and doing 5 sets of 8-15 reps in each direction.
- You can stretch your core by rotating at the waist. While sitting neutral, you can rotate as far to one side as you can and then towards the other side – holding for 10-30 seconds. You can grab the backrest of your chair for a deeper stretch.
- You can also stretch your shoulders, arms, and back while sitting down by reaching out and extending those muscles – holding the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Additionally, you can stretch your posterior chain muscles (back, glutes, and hamstrings) by standing up and slowly reaching out towards your toes, letting your head and upper body weight hang.
There are also several exercises that you can do while working at a desk job:
- Arm Circles: Seating with your back straight and your feet planted on the floor, hold your arms straight out to the sides and move them in tight circles forwards and then backwards. You can do about 20-40 circles each direction.
- Calve Raises: Seating with your back straight, push through the balls of your feet and raise your heels until you are on your tippy toes and hold. Then lower your heels slowly – repeat 20-30 times. You can perform calve raises standing as well.
- Clenches: Clench your glutes and hold for 10-20 seconds five times to tight up and strenthen your gluteal muscles. You can do the same with your quads and your biceps by keeping a 90-degree angle with your arms
- Squats: If you have a break, you can stand up and do air squats. If you are very deconditioned, you can stand up and sit down while keeping your back straight for 20-40 times.
- Seated Leg Raises: While seated with your core tight, hold your legs out straight in front of you for 10 seconds. Then, proceed to lift and lower your legs without touching the floor for 20-50 reps – you can alternate legs as well.
- Seated Back Extension: The exercise below shows how to do seated back extensions, a great exercise for your lower back.
Take the time to implement the above tips to stay healthy at your desk job. Being mindful of your posture, promoting good circulation, standing up regularly, having a healthy diet, and incorporating exercises are some of the steps that you can start taking today. Staying healthy while working a desk job has never been so simple
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor