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While having an office job has its pros, chances are that you sit at a desk almost all day. Sitting for that many hours a day has many serious health consequences, such as:
- Back and neck pain from improper posture.
- Organ damage from a slower metabolism.
- Weight gain because you burn less fat while sitting.
- Damage to eye sight from staring at a computer all day.
When I started working my first office job after working several manual labor jobs, I thought I had it made. A cushy chair, an office, and regular hours were like a dream come true. While I am very thankful for my job, sitting at a desk all day left me feeling sore, tired, and feeling generally blah physically.
After a year at my office job, I found I gained 10 pounds. That might not seem like much, but I am only 25. If I gained 10 pounds each year that I worked, I would really be sending myself down a path of destruction.
Along with weight gain, I have experienced some of the listed health consequences, like damage to eye sight, so I decided to do some research. Here are 9 tips to stay healthy while sitting at a desk all day.
Ask for a standing desk
Many companies are beginning to offer standing desks as an alternative. Standing burns more calories and allows proper blood flow to your body. While it might be unrealistic to stand all day long, see if it is an option you can do for a few hours throughout the day.
Practice good posture
Admittedly, I have terrible posture. So bad that it actually is painful for me to practice good posture! Keep your feet on the floor, raise your chair so your eyes are slightly looking down at your computer, and sit up straight. Proper posture ensures good blood flow, prevents long-term back and neck issues, and allows you to strengthen your core.
If you struggle with posture, yoga can be a great way to get your body used to proper poses.
Take a mini-break every half hour
If you are able, set an alarm on your phone every half hour. Make it a point to take a 1 minute break. Stand up, stretch, and look away from the computer to combat computer vision syndrome.
Walk around every hour
Along with a mini-break every half hour, take a short break every hour. Use the restroom, get more water, walk around a bit.
Take mental breaks, too
Lunch breaks are suggested for a reason. Taking a mental break allows you to be more productive and it prevents burnout.
Drink plenty of water
It’s easy to forget to drink up while you’re busy at work. Keep a water bottle at your desk at all times and make it a goal to drink at least half a gallon during work.
Avoid office junk food
Somehow, it seems like there are always cookies or donuts sitting out to share. Why not set the tone for your office and bring in some fresh fruits and vegetables instead?
Schedule time outside of work to exercise
Now that I blog and freelance outside of work, I really find that I sit a lot. So it has become increasingly important for me to schedule time to work out because some days, that’s all the movement I do. Exercising is so good for body and mind. It increases my focus and productivity as well. Even though it does take some time to fit-in exercise, I actually find that I accomplish way more in the days that I do exercise than the days where I skip a workout.
Bring your lunch to work
As I frequently mention, bringing your lunch to work has so many benefits. It can save thousands of dollars each year, it is healthier, and it saves time. Sitting all day does slow down your metabolism, so it becomes difficult to burn off a meal out, which is typically higher in calories, fat, and sodium.
All in all
While you’re busy at work, it is easy to let your health slide. Your health is your biggest asset at any given point, so it is imperative that you take adequate care of yourself.