Are you feeling the burn of sitting all day and wondering how to stay in shape at a desk job? While at the gym while using the elliptical, I recently I read an article about this. For the life of me I can’t find the same article online but I did find a similar one from Health magazine titled “Is your Desk Job Bad for Your Health?”
The article was about health ailments that can come from that inactivity. Despite spending an hour or two at the gym after work – that won’t make up for the sedentary lifestyle we lead during the day. In fact, that lifestyle could put some at a higher risk for Type II diabetes, according to the article.
Stay in Shape
Right now my work life ebbs and flows. Some days I’m out and about, other days not so much. Either way, on average, I still spend at least a half to three-quarters of my work day at a desk and behind a computer. There are some days I find myself restless from sitting. I’ve also been on the other side of the coin. My first job kept me standing for four to eight hour shifts. When I was walking around my feet became used to it. But if I was standing in one place I also became restless.
The best combination, for me personally, is a job that entails a combination of both standing, sitting and walking. But being I’m a writer the reality is most of my day will continue to be spent sitting behind a computer. I try to do my best to stay in shape while at the desk. Here are some of my tips for taking action on office health.
How to Stay in Shape at Your Desk Job
• Keep Moving. Get up every 30 to 90 minutes and move. You might even find the break makes you a better worker and keeps blood flowing. It could be a quick walk around the office or a trip to the water cooler. If you work from home, take a break and walk your dog around the block.
• Stay Hydrated. Why not? There is no reason to not be getting your 64 ounces (give or take) while at your desk. I have a glass Lifefactory bottle and have found it to be durable and stylish.
• Try to Eat Healthy. Pack healthful snacks to eat at work, and do your best to avoid the baked goods and candy office mates tend to bring in, especially around the holidays. Pack your lunch instead of eating out and you will likely eat healthier and save money, too.
• Take Standing Breaks. Sometimes I have to file papers or make phone calls. I stand up and burn a few more calories when I do these activities. Some people also use a standing desk. I have tried this and found my feet hurt if I stood for too long (see above). Another idea is to sit on an exercise ball, which I found did help me move a bit more and is good for stretching.
• Stretch Frequently. During those breaks throughout the day I will try to stretch. I notice my hamstrings and hip flexors become especially tight while sitting. I also sometimes try to massage my shoulders and neck area where I find I tense up.
• Park Far Away. Get some extra steps in by parking far away from your office door. I practice this same tactic when I run errands. If you drive to off-site meetings for work, do the same upon arrival.
Do you have an office job? How do you stay in shape at your desk job?
*This post was originally published in 2010 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.