We have become an internet-based society and fully immersed in a technological era. As time goes on, more and more individuals are relying on the internet for entertainment, valuable information, and advertising. Regarding the workplace, many companies are experiencing a switch in dynamic due to the growth of e-commerce. With more businesses posting internet-based job descriptions with less person to person engagement, the reliance of digital communication tools increases, and therefore, more computer-based desk work. Employees are suffering from this sedentary lifestyle and spending more time sitting down than they should be. If you’re someone who is struggling to stay active working a desk job, check out these tips to better your health:
Consider a Sit-Stand Desk
Most companies provide their employees with a standard office desk, including a small to medium size surface with either drawers or cabinet space. However, there is a trend toward workplaces replacing the basic desk with standing desks. This allows vertical movement to give employees the option to stand and work. Standing temporarily can alleviate back and neck discomfort and improve posture. If stand up desks aren’t provided in your office, here are some great options for purchase.
When it comes to meetings you have some choices, too. Consider standing meetings as they work on us differently. If this is an impossible request, consider walking meetings to get outside! Individuals tend to think differently when talking while walking. Leaving the office to feel fresh air and to stretch your legs can contribute to better health and well-being in the workplace.
Take Frequent Breaks
You might not believe it but sitting at your desk all day could be equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes. Sitting for long periods of time can affect cardiovascular health, and lead to many health problems. Put more pep in your step during the work day and avoid such problems by using an interval-based method of working. For example, the pomodoro technique calls for working 25 minutes, then taking a short 5-minute break.
Alternatively, you can work for 50 minutes and take a 10-minute break. A break can be as simple as walking around the office. An even better break as discussed in “When” by Daniel Pink. Pink says an ultimate break would be taken outside, with a friend, talking about non-work matters. You’ll really feel refreshed by such a break.
Attend Fitness Events
Another fantastic way to motivate yourself and your coworkers to be more active while working is by participating in fitness events created within the community. Fitness related classes, 5K runs and walks, and volunteering opportunities are all great ways to participate in physical activity, and they happen almost every week in certain locations.
Since the 9-5 schedule is not a very easy one to work with, especially for those who have families, look for events on the weekends, early in the morning, or during lunch break. Fitness events not only contribute to better workplace health but may support a humanitarian cause as well. If there aren’t any fitness related events in your town that can host your crowd, organize one! Be sure to register your event online to efficiently keep track of your RSVPs and event details.
Don’t Eat At Your Desk
It is very easy for a desk worker to want to eat lunch at their desk. It feels like you can eke out a little more work by doing this. But does eating at your desk contribute to your well-being and refresh your mind? Probably not.
Consider going to a communal place in your office to eat with co-workers, or if the weather’s nice, take your lunch outside with you. You’ll enjoy what you eat more and will strengthen the relationships you have with your coworkers outside of a work environment. Alternatively, take two days a week to go out to lunch with a person from another department, friend, or past co-worker you’d like to stay in touch with. You’ll come to realize that lunchtime can be a great period of connection with people you want to get to know or deepen relationships with.
Bottom line: Why not take charge of your health and well-being at the office? You can combat the ills of sitting all day with some plans for action. Here’s to your better health!