Over 80% of all jobs in the USA are currently sedentary. These jobs mostly involve sitting for long hours with little physical activity. Jobs that involve call center operation, customer service, software development, and graphic designing are sedentary. Hence, they are more likely to have negative effects on workers. For example, the effects can vary from having depressive episodes to increased chances of getting chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity and even developing cardiovascular complications.
This calls for the introduction of more physical activity to people working in these jobs for better mental and physical health. That said, here are some of the ways to break the sedentary mood.
Take Intermittent Breaks
To mitigate the effects of prolonged sitting, take small breaks to walk around and stretch. You can do office-friendly exercises like neck stretches, squats, and triceps dips. These exercises will allow blood to circulate and muscles to move and fix your sitting posture. Furthermore, take intermittent breaks to talk to co-workers and relieve stress for better mental health.
Balance Between Sitting and Standing
You burn more calories when you stand than when you seat. Although standing while working may be tedious, it is healthy. Therefore, it’s important to balance your standing and sitting hours. After all, standing while working also counts as physical activity. Find a height-adjustable standing desk and work toward better physical fitness.
Maximize Your Lunch Breaks
If you find yourself swamped most of the time during working hours and not having time for physical activity, start maximizing your lunch breaks. Do light-intensity exercises like walking, dancing, or running. Also, if you have a gym at your workplace, do a few easy exercises around that free time without jeopardizing your lunchtime meal. You can get one of the many customizable programs available online, but be sure to find a reputable seller. The surefire way to avoid scammers is to use referrals from reliable sources or look up online sellers on Nuwber before making any purchases.
Listen to Your Body
While staying active at your sedentary job is undisputedly healthy, sometimes your body can’t take any activity. That means that you probably have some diseases. Start eating healthy and see a specialist. If you have back or neck pain, look for an orthopedist to help treat your pain or a therapist to diagnose you accordingly.
Avoid assuming any body pains, because this can lead to severe complications. In the same light, advocate for an ergonomics-aligned workplace to lessen the risk of work-related injuries and fatigue.
It’s time to ditch the bus or car for healthier alternatives like walking or cycling to work. Active commuting is a proper way to put your muscles to the test and compensate for the lack of activity at work or home. Walking or cycling to work will also boost your morale and relieve stress in the process.
If you travel long distances to and from work, you can park your car at a reasonable distance to encourage yourself to walk or jog.
Use Wearables for Fitness
Sometimes we get overwhelmed with office work and forget to even rise up and stretch. However, using wearable devices comes in handy in reminding you to stay active during the day. Wearables such as sports watches set fitness goals and track your physical activity.
Wearables also track your heart rate and monitor your posture and mental state. This helps find ideal activities or exercises for specific problems.
Advocate for an Active Work Culture
To encourage an active work environment, it is recommended that you advocate for office fitness challenges and team-building competitions. For example, playing a simple game of cards and setting up a light squats competition in the office can go a long way in promoting more activity. Plan for activities like a brief outdoor sports match to break the ice.
Embrace the Stairs
Take a break from using the elevator and walk the stairs while running errands in the workplace. Using the stairs is an underrated strategy to work your muscles, burn calories, and improve blood circulation. Even though elevators save you energy, they are not for you if you work a sedentary job.
Using the stairs develops a momentum of activity at work and prepares you for even tougher exercises.
Offer to Have Walking Meetings
Also known as walk-and-talk or walking meetings, such meetings are a great form of physical activity in the workplace. To achieve body fitness in a sedentary job, you’ll have to ditch videoconference and indoor board meetings for healthier walking meetings. In these meetings, parties take a walk while discussing important agendas. Walking increases cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness and relieves muscular pain. Additionally, walk-and-talk meetings are usually less intense, as the parties are more relaxed.
Use an Under-Desk Treadmill
Who needs a gym when every working day can be a leg day at the office? Furthermore, bad weather and lack of outdoor exercise can worsen your sedentary lifestyle. However, an under-desk treadmill comes in handy, allowing you to choose when to walk after sitting for long hours. Just like the treadmill at the gym, an under-desk treadmill helps you burn calories and enables you to keep up with your work.
Work Out at Home
Maintaining activity at your sedentary job also requires a foundation of fitness and significant body conditioning. Therefore, while it’s great to maintain physical fitness at work, this can’t be actualized without proper prepping. Working out at home:
- Prepares your body for physical activity
- Compensates for hours of inactivity at work
- Improves your energy levels, heart rate, and flexibility.
More efficient systems and technologies have made our jobs more sedentary, and we find ourselves mostly glued to our computer screens and seated for long hours. However, this is dangerous for our mental and physical health, calling for a more active work life. Subsequently, physical activity at work is critical, and even a simple neck stretch can significantly improve your well-being.