Up to 28% of Americans are physically inactive. Odds are you may be one of them when you work at a desk all day.
While working a desk job may not be the most physically strenuous job on the market, sitting for long periods of time can take a surprising toll on your body. In fact, sitting for long periods has actually been attributed to higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Of course, sitting for long periods can’t always be avoided depending on the job you have. Lawyers, for instance, need to work for long periods on their cases to help their clients settle legal issues. So what can you do to keep your career going strong while also keeping your body going strong? Here, we’ve compiled a list of tips you can use to help improve your health and wellness when you sit at a desk all day.
Keep A Plant On Your Desk
There have been numerous studies that have come out that suggest that plants can really brighten up office space and make it healthier.
Even in a home office setting, keeping a plant on your desk will break up the blahs of the day and will make it colorful and improve the air quality of your desk, whether you’re still working in the office or you’re working from home. There are numerous flower shops that you can shop around to find the perfect desk flower. Or you can order flowers online, even getting a subscription from the numerous online flower shops that populate the internet Wherever you get your flowers, having them on your desk can be a real health benefit and make your desk feel a little bit homier.
In addition to being stationary for most of the day, you will more-than-likely be staring at a computer screen for that time as well, which in the long-run will not be good for your eyes.
So it is imperative that you take good care of your eyes so that you will be able to get your work done without sacrificing your health. Eye care is important as well, and to minimize the health risks to your eyes by staring at your computer screen all day, consider wearing blue-light glasses that will give off just the right amount of tint so that it will protect your eyes from the glare of the computer screen.
You will want to take some time and divert your eyes away from the computer screen. Five minutes should oftentimes do the trick, and that, combined with the glasses, will help keep you focused on your work goals throughout the day
Do Wrist Exercises Regularly
When you’re working at a computer, you put a lot of tension into your wrist. Whether you’re typing, coding, or designing on art software, this tension can cause problems later down the road such as carpal or cubital tunnel. It can also put you at greater risk for arthritis, requiring you to get arthritis treatment later in life. Wrist exercises will help to keep the muscles in your wrist from becoming harmed.
It can be tedious sitting at a desk all day, sitting down and staring at a computer screen.
This can cause health problems down the road, such as arthritis, and make your joints a bit stiff. Just because you’re sitting at a desk for most of the day doesn’t mean that you can’t be active throughout the day. You can, especially if you’re working from home. Make sure that you’re taking “active breaks” to loosen your joints and get in some cardio so that your body won’t feel the stiffness of sitting at a desk for most of the day.
If you have a gym in your home, put it to good use during those breaks. If not, then take your lunchtime to hit your local gym and get in some cardio. Also, you may want to invest in a cruiser bike, in which you can get in some active exercise either on your lunch or after or before work. In other words, make sure that you’re keeping your body active to ward off the difficulties of sitting at a desk all day.
Change Your HVAC Filters
Your heating and air conditioning system can play a big role in respiratory illnesses. When you’re working in home offices, you want to be sure that the air quality in the room isn’t causing you to sneeze and sniffle. Make sure that you’re changing your HVAC system’s filters at least twice a month or three times a month if you have pets. This will not only keep your HVAC system working efficiently, but it’ll also make sure that any dust, dirt, and debris are kept out of the air where you can breathe them in and become sick.
Find Ways To Reduce Stress
Whether you’re working from home or in the office, your work can take a stressful toll on your health.
Stress is never good on the body, which is why you should take every opportunity available to relieve that stress your work puts on you on a daily basis. For starters, keep a stress ball at your desk so that you can squeeze it if you run into stressful moments at work. Or, take a five-minute breather from the computer screen so you can regain your sense of workplace zen. If things get really stressful, then don’t be afraid to seek out a therapist to help you reduce the stress your work causes you. Any way you can, reducing workplace stress should always be a priority that will keep you in good health and will keep your productivity high on a daily basis.
Take Out-Of-Office Meetings
If you’re working from home and you’re getting stressed out by the work, don’t be afraid to get up from the desk once-in-a-while.
However, this could pose a challenge given that you may have meetings throughout the day. Not to fear, as there is a remedy behind that too. If you can, do your meetings on the move, while you walk or bike, which will not only give your body the health fitness it needs, but it will also manage the stress that you’re under for most of the day.
Take A Break Every Hour
It can’t be stressed enough just how important it is for you to take a break every once and a while from your desk and computer.
Taking breaks every hour will help relieve that stress of the job and will also keep you in that zen moment where you will be at peace, despite what’s going on at the job. If you’re working in the office, a break can be a simple as turning off the computer monitor for a bit and just relaxing or getting in quick cardio. Working from home actually presents more ways for you to take these breaks. Maybe if you have a dog, this is the time to take them for a walk or go on a quick bike ride in the neighborhood to break up the monotony of the day.
Whatever you do, make sure that you’re taking a break often so that your stress level won’t get to an uncomfortable level while you work, and will also keep you fresh and healthy throughout the day.
Drink Plenty of Water
That soda can be tempting, giving you a quick, temporary jolt of energy throughout the day.
But you should actually stay away from the soda and drink more water instead while you’re at work. Why? Because according to an article on Bustle, mild dehydration can be the root cause of fatigue and moodiness, two enemies of workplace productivity. So you should make sure that you’re keeping yourself hydrated and healthy by drinking water every day. Keel a large container of water with you at your desk so that it will be there just in case you get thirsty. By taking light sips of water throughout the day, you’re keeping your health stable and maintaining your hydration during the day.
Don’t Ignore Lunch Time
It can be tempting to ignore lunch, especially when it seems like you have a lot to do throughout the day. That would be a big mistake.
Even if you’re busy with a big project at work, you should always take the time to have lunch. Food is the fuel our bodies need to function, and you should not deprive your body of food just because of the job. Also, taking lunch will give your body and mind time to rest, which can actually improve the productivity of your work throughout the rest of the day. Bottom line: don’t ignore lunch. It could be just what you need to get you through the rest of the workday.
Get Help With Muscle Aches
Sitting at a desk all day can really make your muscles stiff, which is why you need to get in some cardio daily so that your body will stay fit and loose even while you’re typing away at your desk.
However, there will be times where the typical aches and pains from sitting at an office desk will be unavoidable, and for these knick-knack pains, you should seek out a local physical therapy office that will help mend out the pain. Again, doing cardio on a regular basis should keep you from developing serious ailments of desk work, but those minor aches and pains need to be worked out, and if you can’t do it yourself, your local therapist office should be able to do it for you.
We all have to have our workplace snacks at the desk, but check and see which type of snacks you have at your desk?
Is it made up of chips and candy bars? If so, then you’re doing workplace snacking all wrong. Those chips and candy bars may taste good, but they will lower your productivity throughout the day, and in the long run, could impact your health. This is why, instead of those chips and candy, you should have health bars and nuts at your desk. If you don’t like nuts, don’t worry and fruit is also good for you and much healthier than the chips that you were downing on a daily basis.
Yes, it may be hard to get rid of the chips and candy bars, but you can do it, for your health.
Skip Eating Out For Lunch
Normally, we like to eat out for lunch, which is both a drain on your wallet and can impact your health and productivity.
Instead of hitting up a restaurant on your lunch break, make sure that you pack your lunch and eat it at the office. Maybe pack a healthy salad that you can enjoy on your lunch break, or bring in some leftovers from last night’s dinner. Bringing your lunch is much better than eating out, both for your wallet and your health. However, if you do plan on eating out for lunch, make sure that your ordering healthy foods such as salads or fresh foods, something that will give you the fuel you need to get through the workday.
In conclusion, it can be a drag working all day from a desk, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your health in order to be a great desk worker. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water and getting in some cardio daily. Add a plant to your desk and make sure that you’re taking needed breaks so that you can give your mind a rest. Also, make sure that the air quality at your office is good and that you’re snaking and eating better on the job.
Following these steps will ensure that your health remains in top shape if you’re desk-bound all day long.