5 Healthy Desk Job Habits
Prior to working at Texas Creative, I worked a retail job. This meant being on my feet for 8 hours or more throughout my day. When I started my new job, let me say, I was quite excited about having a desk and a chair.
As an active person, I started wondering about how sitting down all day would affect my health. After some research, which was quite shocking to say the least, the statistics are anything other than positive. That in turn did encourage me to do some research about what you can do to counter those negative effects of the sedentary lifestyle, also known as a desk job. There are a lot of options to choose from and they don't require a lot of work.
The rather harsh truth is that a sedentary lifestyle, or physical inactivity, is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. On average, most people spend 12 hours of their day in an inactive way. Say whaat!?! That is a lot of sitting! Before you run off and join a gym or sign up for yoga classes, let’s see what you can do while at work.
Instead of focusing on the negative effects a desk job can have on our health, I’d like to keep it positive. These 5 easy changes can help create healthy habits while at work:
#1 Stay hydrated
Water, water and more water. This is a great opportunity to get up and move in one way or the other.
#2 Try a standing desk or desk converter
This will boost your mood, energy, and reduce neck, back and shoulder pain. Compared to the same time sitting, it will burn an extra 170 calories. It is also better for your heart and can lower your risk for developing heart disease.
#3 Instead of calling, walk over to see your co-worker face to face
This not only gets you up on your feet, but it can help reduce the chance of miscommunication.
#4 Stretch it out
Taking regular breaks to stretch major muscle groups can help reduce injury, muscular tension and stiffness. It also increases your blood flow, making you feel more energized. More energy = higher productivity.
#5 Eat away from your desk
Successful people tend to embrace the break time, they make the most of it to improve their work performance. A study done by MIT researchers, have found that employees who socialize during their lunch hour are more productive. Benefits of socializing are similar to those of exercising. Your stress and blood pressure levels tend to decrease and usually, you feel happier than before you started.
You can also look at your office layout - is it conducive to you having to get up every so often or do you have everything within arms reach? If it’s the latter, try re-arranging your desk or cubicle so it makes you get up and move. Take the long way to the copy machine or the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the entrance to get those extra steps in.
Our office and my position here at Texas Creative makes it easy for me to utilize different opportunities to get on my feet. Whether it’s asking a co-worker a question, delivering mail or just to pop in and say a quick hello.
There is also a wide variety of office equipment and little gadgets you can use to help you get moving. You can download ‘Nag for Mac’ and set reminders for yourself to get up on your feet, or perhaps purchase the Moji Foot Pro to help you feel more energized and relieve any discomfort or pain. There are also very innovative tools such as the desk cycle or treadmill.
Whichever way you chose, forming great habits that have a positive effect on your health and your well-being is never a bad thing. Start with something small and see it grow into something significant. Leave a comment below and let us know how you stay active at your desk job.