Did you know that there are a lot of negative side-effects to your health from sitting too much? Many medical experts have commented that sitting all day for long periods of time can lead to joint pain, poor posture, and other serious health risks. However, it may be challenging to avoid sitting all day as many of us work in an office and have to sit behind a desk for the majority of our week. Are there any ways around this? Is there anything we can do to stay healthy despite our circumstances? Let's take a look at a few easy habits we can cultivate to help us stay fit & healthy despite working at a desk all day.
I'm sure most of us will admit that it is very difficult to maintain a good posture when we have to sit all day. We might find ourselves with good posture at the start of the day and then after a few minutes, our back begins to curve and before we know it, we're slouched over our computer typing away madly. Is good posture that important? Yes, many experts agree that having good posture can help reduce the physical stress that's placed on our muscles & joints. The first step to maintaining good posture starts with your chair. You should make sure that your chair has good back support and that it is the proper height for you.
It is also good practice to keep your computer screen at eye level. Another key tip to keeping good posture is to keep both feet flat on the floor & try not to cross your legs. If your feet is not touching the floor, getting a small footstool may be a good idea because sitting with your feet dangling or your knees at an odd angle all day long increases your risk of developing blood clots or varicose veins. A footstool can also help reduce back tension by taking the load off your lower limbs.
Set your alarm to remind you to take a short break every now and then for some light body stretches such as touching your toes, walking around your cubicle, or doing a few jumping jacks (if your boss won't mind). Even the most minimal bits of stretching you do can do a lot to help improve your blood supply to your muscles & help prevent fatigue and other body discomforts. It's also a good idea to take a break from staring at your screen every 20 minutes. If you experience headaches or blurred vision, it's probably your eyes telling you they need a break. After every 20 minutes, look at something far away for a few seconds. Taking the time for these small breaks can really help relax your eyes and help eliminate stress. On a side note, if you can, try alternating between sitting and standing up to work.
According to the experts, employees who sit at a desk all day actually tend to be lacking adequate amounts of water. Simply having a cup on your desk next to you may not be enough as many people tend to forget drinking the water because they are so busy & immersed in their work. A tip to help increase your awareness of how much or, in this case, how little you drink is by purchasing a clear water bottle that can hold at least a liter of water.
Set a goal of finishing the water bottle at least 3 times a day, before 3 different intervals of the day. For example, once before 10 am, another before 3pm, and another before 7 pm. Doing so can keep your body properly hydrated and allows you to naturally use the bathroom more, which is a great way to get you to get up and move around. Cheers!
One of the worst parts of sitting at a desk all day is munching on junk food. When you get those hungry bouts during the day, you tend to stuff yourself with whatever that's available, and it's usually not healthy. Instead of just eating 3 meals a day and satiating your hunger attacks in between with a load of junk, why not opt for 5-6 smaller but healthier meals throughout the day? Doing so will help you to feel less hungry in between meals and allows your to plan ahead to insure that you are only putting healthy options into your body. In this way you can maintain portion control and eliminate unhealthy snacks.