We all know some jobs can be mind-numbingly boring (not mine, of course), but did you know that sitting down all day can be incredibly bad for your health too?
Well, it can.
As well as being terrible for circulation, sitting down – typically at an office desk – can also increase the likelihood of heart disease and weight gain, not to mention posture. I think you’ll agree; all things which we’d rather avoid, right?
To yet further our sedentary ways, as technology like email and mobiles continue to develop and become increasingly commonplace, there becomes less reason for us to actually get up and leave the comfort of our workstation during the daily grind.
The emphasis, as such, is on us to do something about it, and by making some very small and manageable changes, we can become a much healthier (and happier!) person.
Here are six ways to make your sedentary behavior a thing of the past.
1. Snack (appropriately)
Being sat still for large periods of time can often lead into the temptation of regular snacking (or binging, you could say). However, eating the wrong types of foods – you know the sort – can seriously affect your well being.
The key is to snack, but snack well. Nibble on fruit, nuts or protein bars and at regular intervals, that way you’ll feel full without stuffing your face with unhealthy junk foods like chocolate and crisps.
2. Stretch regularly
It may not be something you are aware of, but do you ever notice how often you do things like cross your legs while you are sat at your desk? Doing this can restrict blood flow in your legs and redistributes the pelvis’ weight from one leg to another, causing the spine to bend in an unnatural manner.
So every now and then make sure you stretch your legs fully and bend your feet back and forth to encourage even blood flow and good circulation, rather like you would during a long flight.
3. Get your posture right
You’d never dream of getting in a car and sitting in the driver’s seat with your head twisted to look at where you are going, so why do it when you are sat at your desk? Okay, in the short term it doesn’t do much harm, but maintaining a bad posture day-after-day will soon take its toll on your body.
So make sure to sit back, place your feet in front of your knees and face square on to your monitor when you are at your desk. In other words, when you sit down in the morning, think to yourself that you’re getting into the seat of a car before embarking on a journey rather than a day in front of a computer screen. Maintaining a good posture is key to reducing chances of back problems and other long-term injuries.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial to maintaining good health, whether you are at work, at home or doing more physical activities.
Though, when you are sitting down all day it can become something of a chore to drink the recommended amount – especially if the water cooler is a short hike away. Working in an air conditioned office can speed up moisture evaporation from our skin and lungs causing dehydration, which can then have a negative impact on our alertness and concentration at work, as well as poor for our overall well-being. So make sure that if you are sitting down all day that you have a steady supply of drinking water to hand.
5. Adjust your chair accordingly
Office chairs can be pretty sophisticated pieces of office furniture these days and there is a reason for this – so try to ensure you put all those levers and handles to good use.
Adjust the height of your chair so your feet rest flat on the floor, and use the tilt mechanism on the seat to keep your thighs parallel to the desk. Ideally the back of the chair should fit with the contours of your spine and tilt between 90 degrees and 120 degrees – this will help to maintain good posture, as well as ensuring you are comfortable while you work.
6. Raise your monitor
The position of essential working tools – such as your computer monitor – obviously matters to your eyes, but it’s critical to your overall health too. Too often people put the screen wherever it fits, causing the keyboard to be in front of you and the screen to be at a slight angle, meaning you need to twist while you are typing.
Your screen really needs to be in just the right position in relation to where you sit. Too close and you could get eye strain. Whereas placing it further away could cause spinal misalignment if you are leaning forward all the time.
Ideally, the middle of your computer screen should be at chin level, about a foot away from your face. Anything else can lead to prolonged leaning and twisting – with all the neck and back problems that can bring.
– Matthew Crist
Printer and Photocopier Rental Service, CTL Digital Solutions.