Do you have a sedentary job that doesn’t involve moving from one point to another? It may not be doing wonders for your health. Modern-day jobs are often desk-bound, and you’ll find yourself sitting most of the time. Find out how it may be harming your well-being and the steps you can take to counter this.
How a sedentary lifestyle affects your health
So, a sedentary job may affect our physical well-being more than we imagine. A review of 18 studies shows that people who sit all day have a 49% higher risk of death than others. Here’s how staying put in the office isn’t in our best interests.
1. Extended Working Hours
First of all, you know that you’re under too much stress when falling sick is a luxury. Kansas State Unversity’s researchers found that people who worked more than 50 hours weekly had reduced physical well being. They suffered ill-health because they put in at least ten hours of work daily. Many suffered from depression and heart-related illnesses.
2. Limited Movement
Also, jobs that require you to work from your desk add to physical problems. The inactivity gives rise to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The American Osteopathic Association maintains that it also adds to your physical pain. Working at your desk for too long will cause eye and muscle strain. Standing doesn’t improve the situation by much. Staying upright in a fixed position causes fatigue, backaches, and leg cramps.
3. You may develop long-term illnesses
Also, it’s best for you to find a way to maintain your posture if you sit in the office all day. Sitting in a chair for many hours causes you to slouch. Furthermore, constant sitting may weaken your joints. Consequently, illnesses like arthritis may develop. You’re exposed to chronic heart ailments as well.
4. Staring at computer screens harms your vision
The brightness of computer screens may affect your eyesight. This study of children makes suggestions about the use of computers. Of course, this applies to adults as well. A tip is to have optimal lighting. Moreover, many people stare at screens too close up when they’re at work. Always stay a safe distance from computers.
5. Our keyboards are a source of germs
The consoles at our desks are dusty bacteria havens. According to microbiologists, they have 400 times as much bacteria as toilets. Do remember that you inhale them as you type.
6. You may develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Finally, constant typing and keeping your wrist in the same place may cause wrist strain known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Properly defined, it is the pressing of the median nerve in the wrist. Repetitive desk work is a common cause of this.
Ways to stay active if you have a sedentary job
So, working at a desk all day long can take a toll on your well-being. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let it affect you. Here’s what you can do.
1. Have breaks every hour
First of all, take a short break every hour. Get up and walk around for a few minutes. The movement increases blood flow and alleviates boredom too.
2. Go out of the office for lunch
Also, you may feel tempted to order your meals in because you’ve piles of work. Don’t give in to that temptation. Go out and take in some fresh air. You’ll even have the opportunity to socialize with co-workers.
3. Exercise for a few minutes
If you’re lucky enough to have flexible working hours, make time to exercise. A quick workout makes a significant impact. Simple stretches make a difference in your physical health. Workouts like neck rolls are doable from an office desk. Make it a point to do them every hour.
4. Take the stairs
Furthermore, many people don’t realize that an efficient workout -the stairs- is available all the time. Use them instead of the elevator. Not only do you exercise your cardiovascular muscles, you boost your immune system as well. You’ll also increase your energy.
5. Use a standing desk
Another way to counter the effects of a sedentary job is to stand as you work. You’ll be more likely to move throughout the day. You’ll also interact more with your colleagues. You will also experience an improvement in your energy and mood.
Your physical well-being, as a whole, will improve. You will lower your risk of heart disease if you stand as you work. Also, studies show that it reduces back pain. Participants in one of them experienced up to about a 32% reduction in their lower back pain after a week. Consequently, your productivity will increase. A study of 60 young employees showed that a standing desk did not cause them to make typing errors.
Note that you should avoid standing in the same position all the time. Make sure that your hands rest comfortably on your table and that your computer screen is at eye level. You can make your standing desk work more for you by adding an office desk treadmill. Do your running exercises as you work on your documents. Accomplish your tasks and get healthy at the same time.
6. Sit on an exercise ball
Moreover, sitting on a chair all the time needs no activity. Substitute your chair for an exercise ball. It improves your posture and stretches your core muscles.
7. Offer to walk company pets in a pet-friendly office
If you work in a pet-friendly office, offer to take pets out on walks. You’ll get out of the office for a while. Pets also force people to take occasional breaks. They boost creativity as well.
In all, a sedentary job doesn’t have to slow you down. Put in measures to stay active if you have one.
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