Updated: May 5, 2019
Sitting at a desk all day sounds like the norm if, like me, you have a 9-5 office job. Because of technology, you literally never have to leave your chair for anything (unless, you know, you have to go to the bathroom). And while the idea of hanging at your desk until 5 p.m. may sound like a dream, it’s actually pretty detrimental to your health. Aside from neck and back pain, it can increase your risk for heart disease, obesity, and even death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. So, in an effort to be more health-conscious, here are eight small changes you can make at work to increase your activity and improve your overall health.
1. Take hourly breaks.
Sitting at your desk for hours and hours can really damage your health: too much sitting is linked to heart disease, diabetes and even dementia.Sitting can be seen as the new smoking and it’s definitely a good idea to break the habit. Try getting up from your desk once an hour and moving around for about five minutes. This will activate muscles and promote blood flow. And if you’re someone who is fully consumed by your workload, set a timer for once an hour so you’re reminded to take breaks, even when you’re super busy.
2. Go out for lunch.
While ordering food directly to your office may sound amazing, eating and working at the same time doesn’t do wonders for your physical health. Take advantage of your lunch break and walk to to get lunch instead of ordering in. You’ll move your muscles, get fresh air, and even have some time to chat with co-workers (rather than staring at your computer screen for hours on end). Sometimes it’s hard to take a break when you have a lot on your plate, but getting out of the office will refresh your body and your brain—even if it’s a 15-minute date with a park bench and your brown-bag lunch.
3. Stand instead of sit.
Just because you have a desk doesn’t mean you need to sit. As an alternative, elevate your computer with a riser so you can stand, or if that’s not an option, move to another spot in the office where there’s a taller platform for your computer. You can also invest in an ergonomic workstation or, if you’re really fancy, purchase a treadmill desk so you’re able to walk and work at the same time.
4. Exercise for 10 minutes.
Some companies offer flexible work hours, and if you’re one of their lucky employees, use that extra time to exercise before, during, or after work. Physical activity