Being tied down to your desk all day, rather than on your feet and active is obviously a problem for your health. In fact, siting all day long is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Dr. James Levine, an Endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic who has researched the impacts of sitting, describes sitting as the “new smoking.” Spending more than 6 hours a day sitting increases blood pressure and puts you in danger for diabetes, obesity and depression. On average, Americans sit anywhere from 7-9 hours per day. Unfortunately, even if you exercise regularly, that doesn’t outweigh the dangers associated with sitting.
After working all day, it’s hard to find time, or even want to find time, to exercise. When you get home from work, you are tired and might not be in the mood to go burn calories at the gym. Not to mention, many people have other priorities to attend to before and after work, therefore exercise often isn’t even an option for them. So, what should you do? Simple, adopt new practices and habits while sitting at your desk to maintain your health. Here are 10 options to get you started on a healthy and active work routine:
- Take an hourly walk
Whether that be to the drinking fountain, a co-worker’s office, the restroom or even just a lap around the building, try to make it a habit to get up and move every hour.
If you can’t take a walk, there is always the option to stretch. Stand up, move your legs and stretch.
- Count your steps
Consider investing in a wearable step device to track your steps and remind you to get up and move.
- Forget your phone and email
Try to walk over to a co-worker’s office and talk instead of emailing or calling them. This will get you up and moving and likely get your question answered faster too.
- Set alarms
When you get busy working, you tend to forget to move. Use your phone, your computer, or your smart watch to set alarms that remind you to get up and move.
- Choose healthy snacks
Instead of eating candy bars, chips and whatever else comes in the nearest vending machine, try healthy alternatives instead.
- Drink a lot of water
Bring a reusable water bottle with you to work and try to drink one full bottle before lunch and one full bottle before you leave.
- Say no to sweet treats
No matter how many tempting sweet treats are being offered at the office, always say no. If you really want a snack, try eating fruit or nuts instead.
- Skip eating out
Try making larger healthy meals at home so you can take leftovers to work with you. That way you won’t be tempted to eat out if you already have a meal planned.
- Swap out your chair for an exercise ball chair
This might sound crazy, but it can really help. Exercise ball chairs improve your posture, strengthen your core and even burn calories.
Adding simple exercises to your daily routine at work doesn’t have to be hard. Once you are used to the change in your routine, it will become the new normal. You will feel better throughout the day and even burn additional calories you wouldn’t normally burn. So don’t wait, get moving!