If you’re doing this every day for years, it can have serious negative effects on your wellbeing such as back pain, headaches and poor heart health. It only takes a bit of effort so squeeze in a little exercise into your workday—your body will thank you for it.
There are basic things you should be doing to make sure your body is getting what it needs. Sitting has been branded ‘the new smoking’ by health officials for the negative affects it can have on your body. To counteract this, try standing up and walking around once every hour. This will help with circulation and cardiovascular health.
Another problem with office life is repetitive strain injury (RSI). Taking breaks to stretch your arms will help you to reduce the risk of causing serious damage. Try using a wall to help you stretch your arms behind your back.
If you want to go the extra mile without taking out too much time out of your day, try a quick 60-second burst of exercise to help both the body and mind. If you have your own office—or can find a quiet room—try doing 60 seconds of star jumps, squats or even push-ups. This will raise your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health.
While you get up from your desk, take a moment to stretch your body. Stand up and bend to touch your toes, or lean over to one side with your arm over your head. In your chair you could bring your arm across your body and hold it to stretch your shoulders and back, or put your hand behind your back over your shoulder with your elbow pointing up. Use your other arm to manipulate the arm you’re trying to stretch to push yourself until you feel a slight strain.
These stretches will not only improve flexibility but will also exercise your back and shoulders to stop them from getting sore after extended periods of sitting down.
Make use of what you’ve got
Your office equipment can also be used to get a bit of exercise. Reams of paper make excellent weights for short bursts of movement. Your chair and the walls can help you stretch. Try and get in as many steps as you can in your work day by taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking over to other people you work with to talk rather than emailing them.
Change your equipment
If you want to take it a step further than just using what is already available to you, you could get yourself some aids to help you exercise at work. You may have seen the ‘treadmill desk’ on which you can walk for miles while getting your work done. Some people like to use stationary bikes while they work. If you are not up for getting such a hefty piece of equipment into your office, you could try something simpler like sitting on an exercise ball to exercise your core or a stress ball to work your hands and wrists.
Making some small changes to your day can be beneficial for your heart and mind; they can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems and wake you up by breaking up your day with a bit of movement.
If you enjoyed this article, read about how to keep your heart healthy