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How to Not Sit at a Computer All Day

Chained to Your Desk? Make It Healthier With These Tips

Recent research shows the effects of sitting all day can be deadlier than smoking, and we already know how sitting all day is bad for our back and joints. But what if you have an office job, and spend eight hours a day in front of your computer? If there's no way getting around the fact that you need to sit to get your job done, here are some ways to make sitting all day a little healthier.

  • Give props: To your feet, that is. Place a box or crate under your desk to elevate your feet. This will not only increase circulation, but will prevent you from crossing your legs, which can lead to tight hips and a sore back.
  • Grab a ball: Exercise balls aren't just for the gym or yoga studio. Sitting on one can help with posture and lead to a stronger core. It is also a ready-made prop for these desk stretches. If you can't sit on a ball, try these yoga poses you can do in your chair or five strength-training moves that can be done at your desk.
  • Take five a few times a day: If you're one of those people who sits down at her desk at 9:00 a.m. and doesn't get up until lunch, set the alarm on your phone or computer every hour to take five. Walk around, grab some water, or take 10 and do this Tabata workout video.
  • Work it at noon: Instead of taking lunch at your desk, use the time to exercise. Whether you hit the gym, go for a run or bike ride, or take a midday yoga class, try to get co-workers to join you so an hour of exercise becomes a daily habit. At the very least, take a walk to an outdoor spot to enjoy lunch!
  • Stand while you work: If you have the option, raise the surface of your desk so you can stand instead of sit. Start with an hour a day and gradually increase the time standing.
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