According to the latest Labor Force Survey, approximately 24.4 million workers in the United Kingdom work full-time jobs. The majority of these people spend their work routine sitting at a desk all day. It explains why 80% of UK adults experience lower back pain. Sitting for long hours and committing to a sedentary lifestyle is the most common cause of back strains and sprains. Studies showcase several other problems associated with sitting all day long.
Adverse Effects Of Sitting At A Desk All Day
Human bodies are built to move. When people take regular physical activity away from their bodies, they push themselves close to the following health risks:
- Clogged heart – When muscles burn less fat, the blood flows slower, raising the chances of fatty acids blocking your heart
- Diabetes – The pancreas makes more insulin leading to the possibility of diabetes.
- Cancer-Antioxidants in your body are prevented from waking up and battling free radicals that may cause cancer when you move less.
- Digestion problems – Snacking on junk food while sitting all day can poorly impact your digestive tract.
- Leg issues – Your body becomes more prone to varicose veins and weak bones.
- Stress and anxiety – Sitting at a desk for long hours heighten your chances of becoming more stressed and anxious.
Maintaining an active and fit lifestyle while working a full-time desk job can be a struggle. Here are ten easy ways you can counteract the damage sitting does to your body and stay fit with a desk job:
1. Use Support Equipment
UK healthcare professionals recommend employees relieve their muscles and maintain their posture regularly. However, when distracted by work and deadlines, it’s hard for people to stay conscious of their aching muscles. As a result, most desk employees prefer buying high-quality shoulder, wrist, elbow, knee, and ankle supports from Physiflex to check their posture and health during work hours.
2. Correct Posture
Most people are conscious of their posture when walking or exercising, but they start to slump as soon as they sit at a desk. Maintaining an upright position while working a desk for long hours can be challenging. Experts suggest sitting up tall in a chair with hips and knees at a 90-degree angle. Lousy posture can misalign your spine and cause immense pain and discomfort. However, with proper exercise techniques, you can reverse the damage. Address the problem by fixing your position every time you notice slouching.
3. Stand-Up Desk
A standing or adjustable desk can also help you stay fit while working a full-time desk job. These desks feature an adjustable scale that allows you to alter the desk height so you can work while sitting and standing. For example, adjust the desk height to complete the project deadline while standing if you can’t take enough breaks from work. You’ll get a chance to be on your feet, improve your posture and circulation, and impress your boss with your work at the same time.
4. Desk Workout
Staying active while working can be challenging, especially for people who aren’t good at multitasking. But who said you had to do a lot to battle the negative effects of sitting? Have you ever heard of deskercise? The term refers to exercises that can be performed from your desk while you work. Here are five deskercise moves you can benefit from:
- Arm Circles – hold your arms straight out to the side and slowly move them in tight circles forwards and backward.
- Seated Leg Raises – hold your Leg straight and lift and lower it without touching the floor.
- Fitness Ball – engage your core and reduce lower back pain by sitting on a fitness ball instead of a work chair.
- Squats – work the muscles in your legs by doing 10 to 20 squats every hour.
- Stand Up – Stand during work for a while to alternate your posture and give your muscles a productive break.
5. Subtle Stretches
If you can’t find time to commit to a few minutes of exercise, you can perform subtle stretches to keep your body active. Your boss and colleagues won’t frown at these casual stretches too. Take a few seconds to stretch your neck, raise your shoulders, arch your back, etc., to relieve the muscle tension and strengthen your body posture.
6. Active Hobbies
People who spend most of their time at a desk must counter the negative effects of their job by indulging in fun, active hobbies. Stay fit and healthy by bidding farewell to old and boring activities and trying your hand at something exciting. Sign up for rock climbing, plan a swimming day, go hiking with friends, play your favorite sport in the backyard or lawn, etc. These activities will help you find fun in the movement to keep your body active without making the task feel like a chore or a punishment.
7. Eat Well
Almost every desk employee is guilty of snacking while working. There is no harm in eating unless you are consuming junk incessantly. Stay away from the vending machine loaded with all kinds of sugary eatables. Instead, make a few simple changes to eat right and live a healthy, active lifestyle even while working at a desk. Avoid snacking altogether, but if you find it hard, try guilt-free snacking by eating healthy office snacks that keep you energized and productive.
8. Exercise Ball
Buy an exercise ball and switch it with your office chair. Indulge in some active sitting while working on your PC or laptop. Sitting on an exercise ball is known as active sitting because you work your body without realizing it. You will notice that your core is engaged throughout the sitting while you struggle to maintain balance and a good posture. As a result, your muscles will distress and activate so you can enjoy some productive movement during your work hours.
9. Drink Fluids
Experts suggest drinking approximately 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Did you know you can stay active only if you drink enough water? How? Imagine the number of times you would have to get up from your desk and fill up your water bottle if you committed to fulfilling your water intake. Drinking enough water will keep you hydrated, help you fight premature hunger, and add some steps to your stagnant desk work routine.
10. Walk Around
Every step counts when you’re trying to stay active at a desk job. Joining a gym isn’t the only way to add movement to your idle work routine. You can try making workplace tasks functional to keep your body moving. For example, take a work call while walking around the block, conduct meetings in environments surrounded by nature, skip the elevator, take the stairs, park away from the office, walk the distance, etc. These simple tips can help you reach your fitness goal faster, even if you work a desk job.
It’s never too late to make a positive change in your lifestyle, mainly when it entails immense benefits. Do not let your workplace desk control your health and happiness. Fulfill your fitness goals by following the simple tips mentioned above; challenge yourself to implement all the fitness suggestions. You don’t have to do everything at once. Start small by improving your balance day by day until you completely transform your passion for fitness. Good luck in staying fit and healthy!