Best Ways to Stay Fit and Healthy at Your Desk
Study after study continues to reveal the dangers of sitting at a desk all day. But the fact remains that most people do. If you’re working for an internet startup, a social media marketing company, or any other office-based company, you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that you’ll be spending much of your day sitting in front of a screen. That doesn’t mean you have to accept lethargy as a way of life, though. Even if you already follow a strict workout regime of CrossFit or Pilates, you should still get moving at work to offset the potential negative effects of sitting for eight hours. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Go for a walk. Sounds simple enough, but when you get slammed with a last-minute assignment at work or a client demands you completely redo their project, you might get glued to your desk for hours. Don’t let this happen. Commit at few minutes every two or three hours to just taking a quick spin around the office. It doesn’t have to be long—just long enough to get your blood pumping.
- Extend your commute. If you already walk to work (or walk partway from the bus or subway), just add a few blocks to your normal route. The extra mileage will do your legs good in the ensuing hours when they aren’t getting much fresh air. Yes, this means you’ll have to wake up a few minutes earlier, but that will be time well-spent.
- Get an exercise ball. If you must sit, at least be working on your abs while you do. Exercise balls promote good posture (which can alleviate some of the side effects of sitting) and also keep your abs engaged at all times.
- Practice the foot alphabet. There are many easy, discreet exercises you can do right at your desk. Google “deskercise” and you’ll find a few. One of our favorites is writing the “foot alphabet.” This works best if you slip off your shoes, but you don’t have to. Just raise one leg under your desk and attempt to trace the alphabet in the air from A to Z. Then switch to the other leg and repeat.
- Take a lunch. It’s tempting to sit and eat at your desk, especially when you’re swamped. But you need to resist this urge. Your employer gives you a lunch break for a reason, and you should take it. Even if it’s only 30 minutes long, taking the time to get up from your desk and go grab lunch will get your body engaged. Plus, you’ll be more mindful of what you’re eating if you aren’t staring at a screen while you chomp.
- Just don’t sit at all. Standing desks have become more and more common since early research about prolonged sitting started hitting the internet. They completely eliminate the need to get up and stretch or walk—you’re already stretching. Get a high chair or stool, too, so that you can take a seat when you need a quick break.
Sit and Stay Healthy: 5 Ways to Keep Your Desk Job Without Ruining Your Health [Medical Daily]
6 Ways to Stay Fit From Your Seat [Active]
How to Stay in Shape at a Desk Job [LiveStrong]