Trying to stay healthy while working a 40+ hour work week is a challenge. Staying healthy during the holiday seasons is nearly impossible. If you’re like most working adults, holiday season parties, shopping, and family gatherings add lots of stress - and calories - to the body. So how can you stay healthy with all of the work and running around you do?
It's hard to get to the gym every day, but even a small amount of exercise improves your health. “When you go from doing no activity to any amount, you see a marked decline in the risk of premature death from any cause,” says Alpa Patel, Ph.D., strategic director of the Cancer Prevention Study-3 at the American Cancer Society. "You see a continued added benefit with additional amounts. But the greatest jump is from being sedentary to doing something.”
So get out of your chair and start exercising today. No need to wait for a New Year’s resolution to change your daily habits. Please be sure to consult with a physician before starting any new exercise or stretching program. Below are 5 exercise ideas to help you stay healthy on the job.
Alternate between sitting and standing
Simply standing at work burns more calories than sitting. But recent studies show only a small increase over sitting (about 10%). But its still an increase. A UK study explored the benefits of sit-stand desks versus sitting all day. “The researchers measured mental health and job performance in the new study. By the end of the trial, they found that people using sit-stand desks were more engaged at work and better at their jobs than their chair-bound peers, with less job-related fatigue, less daily anxiety and higher overall quality of life. They also reported fewer lower back issues than the control group.”
Standing all day isn’t necessarily better than sitting all day. Too much standing can lead to back and leg pain. So mixing it up seems to make a lot of sense. Learn more about sit-stand desks.
Take the stairs
While it may be faster and easier, taking the elevator isn’t a healthy way to travel. Taking the stairs is a simple way to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health. It also improves muscle tone and flexibility. So the next time you want to go down to the cafeteria for lunch, do yourself a favor and take the stairs.
If your boss isn’t open to buying you a sit-stand desk and you work on the first floor of your building, you can still exercise simply sitting at your desk.
Chair exercises are a great way to build strength and flexibility without leaving your cubicle. There are a number of exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles and improve flexibility from your own desk. Doing a small set of these exercises every hour or two will get your blood flowing while working. Check out the exercises on the following link for some simple chair exercises. If you suffer from back pain, adding a simple backrest or footrest to your workstation can provide pain relief when you do have to sit for many hours.
Bad posture is a real pain. Literally. It leads to tight muscles, backaches, and even migraines. You can avoid pain and tension by following basic ergonomic principles in the workplace. Sitting up straight and keeping your feet flat on the ground are two simple things to do. You can reduce pain by using a keyboard tray at an appropriate level. Stretching is another way to relieve back and spinal pain. “Most back pain can be resolved by doing regular exercises to keep muscles that support your spine strong and flexible,” says Fei Jiang, PT, DPT, OCS, at Providence Saint John’s Health Center’s Performance Therapy in Santa Monica, California.
Consult with an ergonomic specialist at your workplace to identify the best keyboard height for your workstation.
Yoga helps strength and flexibility
Yoga is another form of exercise you can use in the office. According to an article from The Cleveland Clinic, “Yoga can help you get through a crazy day by lowering your blood pressure, increasing serotonin, and decreasing cortisol. Yoga also helps you focus and releases tension in your limbs.” Check out some of the exercises they recommend to help you get through the workday.We hope these tips will help you stay pain-free at work. Please take a few minutes to browse our website to see the latest ergonomic office products from Ergokomfort.