Struggling With Your Desk Job: Here Are Some Life-Changing Tips To Stay Active
Keeping an active lifestyle at work may appear daunting, but it is not impossible.
While we work for long hours at our desks, it is common to feel tired and inactive during those long office hours. All we need is to seize the day and restore our energy.
Maintaining an active lifestyle while working goes beyond mere convenience or personal preference—it is essential for your overall well-being. Several studies have emphasised the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle on our health. According to research, sitting for extended periods raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. Moreover, extended periods of sitting can contribute to musculoskeletal problems like back pain and stiffness.
On the flip side, integrating physical activity into your workday has demonstrated numerous benefits. A study reveals that employees who participate in physical activity during work hours reported enhanced concentration, increased productivity, and reduced stress levels. Taking regular movement breaks has also been associated with improved mood and enhanced cognitive function.
For people with sedentary desk jobs that primarily involve prolonged sitting and working in an office setting, here are several suggestions to promote ongoing physical activity throughout the day.
Walk or cycle to the office
Consider commuting to work by cycling or walking. Depending on the distance between your home and workplace, you can choose to leave your car behind and opt for a more active mode of transportation. Research suggests that cycling to work is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes and a lower risk of cancer compared to commuting by car or public transport.
Both cycling and walking to work have also been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, individuals who choose to walk or cycle to work tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower body fat percentage in midlife compared to those who commute by car.
Regularly stand up
Taking frequent breaks from sitting at work can have a significant impact on mitigating associated health risks. Experts emphasise the need to reduce sedentary behaviour and prolonged sitting in office settings.
Office workers should aim to stand up for a minimum of 2 hours throughout their workday, gradually increasing this target to 4 hours. Breaking up extended periods of sitting is crucial.
Researchers suggest that integrating standing and walking habits into the work routine may be more feasible for employees compared to specific exercise regimens.
Increase your movement
Increasing your movement may seem like an obvious step to take in order to reduce sedentary behaviour. However, when engrossed in a demanding task, it's easy for several hours to pass without any physical activity. Studies have revealed that for every additional hour of sitting beyond five hours, waist size can increase by 2 centimetres, and the risk of cardiovascular disease may rise by 0.2 percent. Moreover, prolonged sitting can lead to an increase in "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and a decrease in "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein).
A study examining individuals who work at desks found that employees expressed a desire to spend less time sitting and more time engaging in physical activity during their workday.
Revamp your workplace routine
Integrating physical activity into your daily work routine brings forth a multitude of health advantages, reduces absenteeism, and enhances cognitive functions, mood, and productivity. Considering the numerous positive outcomes associated with reduced sedentary behaviour, your employer might be receptive to transforming the work environment to offer a wider range of movement opportunities. Certain companies are already implementing pre-work stretch sessions, midday yoga breaks, and lunchtime running groups to support employees in taking care of their well-being while simultaneously boosting work efficiency.
Take an active lunch break
Instead of mindlessly consuming your lunch at your desk while juggling various digital distractions, make a conscious effort to take a break and engage in physical activity. By doing so, you will return to work feeling revitalised, recharged, and better equipped to maintain focus for the remainder of the day. Whether you opt for a brisk walk, a bike ride, a swim, or dedicate an hour to your gym routine, any form of exercise can effectively break up your day and motivate you during the remaining office hours.
Take stairs instead of elevators
Whenever possible, resist the temptation to take the elevator and choose the stairs instead. Climbing stairs is a fantastic way to activate your leg muscles and elevate your heart rate. By making this choice regularly, you can enhance your cardiovascular fitness and reinforce your lower body strength.
Remain properly hydrated
Maintaining adequate hydration is essential for sustaining energy levels and promoting overall well-being. Use your phone or computer to set timely reminders, prompting you to consume water consistently throughout the day.
Keep in mind that even minor adjustments can have a profound impact. Take action now and experience the rewards of a vibrant and invigorating lifestyle.Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.