Think about how much you sit in one day. Don’t only think about the time spend in front of a computer screen but also the time you sit in your car, to eat, and relax. For many people that can add up to over 13 hours a day assuming you sleep 8 hours a night. The list ofhealth risks from sitting too long at your desk can go seem endless. Some on this list include being overweight or obesity, unhealthy blood-sugar levels and type 2 diabetes, increase chance of heart disease, and not to mention posture and back problems, muscle degeneration and leg disorders.
You can always improve
Even for those who are physically active (moderate to intense physical activity, 4+ day a week) you still can increase your health by sitting less during the day. Even for those who work out for an hour at the gym, shower, then eat, and head to the office, your body has absorbed the majority of the nutrients from your breakfast. So, while you work at your desk, it starts to regenerate and heal the micro-tears and micro-trauma into your poor posture with hunched shoulders, curved spine, and collapsed hips.
Even if you work out regularly it still might not be enough to undo the damages cause by sitting long periods of time at your desk.”
It sounds simple to just get up and move; however, the reality is that it takes time and effort. Many recommend five minutes of standing for every 30 minutes of sitting. Look into using ergonomic chairs and height adjustable stand up desks in the office when you are thinking about the health of your office. It will also give each employee more space for office exercises. While you stand, work on short and easy body stretches that will help your blood circulation, muscle tension, and posture; from head rolls to feet rotations and back arching and eye rolls, get the office standing up and moving.
There are countless fast and easy office desk exercises that can be done at your desk or anywhere in the office at any time that will begin to undo the stresses on sitting bodies. Remember to listen to what your body says and don’t try to push the limits of your body.
- Lay down on your back with your feet hip width apart and feet flat on the ground. Make sure your knees are always above your ankles. Keep your arms alongside your body and palms facing down.
- Inhale and press your feet into the floor and life the hips up rolling your spine off the floor.
- Press into the arms and shoulders to life your chest up and engage your legs, buttocks to lift your hips higher if need be.
- Take 4-6 deep breaths and release by exhaling and slowly rolling your spine back to the floor.
- Stand with your feet flat on the ground with slightly wider than shoulder width apart stance and toes pointed slightly outwards.
- Keeping your feet flat on the ground, squat until your buttock is as low as it is comfortable to go and keeping your back straight and arms resting on your knees.
- Feel the stretch through your legs, back, and groin.
- Take 4-8 deep breaths.
- Find a wall or immobile chair to support yourself with one hand and face straight ahead.
- Start with small swings with one leg going forward and back like a pendulum, keeping you posture tall and your core engaged.
- Gradually work up the pendulum swing, keeping your posture tall and your core engaged and remember to keep your hips relaxed.
- Do about 20 swings per leg.
- Get on your palms flat on the ground and knees with your toes point toward the ground, gently pressing to help balance.
- Keeping your knee bent in the same position, lift one leg to the side as much as you can until you feel your hips and butt working.
- Feel the stretch in the groin and hip flexors and remember, don’t put too much pressure on your wrists.
- Do 5-8 raises per leg and take deep breaths for each rep, exhaling for each leg raise.
Don’t forget the basics! Suggest to walk or stand at your next department meeting or take the stairs up to the office or during your break take a minute to get the blood circulating. Get up and talk to your co-worker rather than sending that email. Invest in height adjustable standing desks and ergonomic chairs for you and your employees and remind the office to continually change scenery and postures to keep up productivity. Always remember the basic active office tips and always encourage your office to be proactive.