Let's face it: most of us are more sedentary than we want to be. We're desk-bound at the office, and sitting during our commutes. All this sitting is not exactly the best for your body. Not moving around translates to fewer calories burned throughout the day, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Sitting for more than eight hours a day can also cause back pain, a tense neck and shoulders, and leg cramps. Sixwise offers some tips on keeping your body and mind healthy while on the job.
- Check your posture and your desk set-up. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, and if you type at a keyboard, your hands, wrists, and forearms should also be parallel to the floor. Make sure your chair is padded yet firm, so the natural curve in your spine is supported and you're not sinking into your seat.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is a big office buzz word, so you want to work on preventing this and other injuries by avoiding repetitive motions. If you use a mouse, purchase a new one that places your hand and wrist in a different position (like a vertical mouse). Try to rearrange the things on your desk often, like your coffee cup or your pens, so you have to reach for them with a different hand.
- Just because you sit at a desk all day doesn't mean you're glued to your seat. Be sure to stand up and move around every 20 minutes or so, for at least 30 seconds. Do some desk stretches, take a walk to visit your co-worker, or go to the kitchen to refill your glass of water. Not only will this circulate blood to your muscles, but it'll also prevent boredom.
For more desk tips, read more.
- Don't forget about your eyes. Be sure to look away from your screen often to reduce eye strain, which can cause headaches. I like to close my eyes and do circle exercises. If you find your eyes are getting dry, blink often or keep some eye drops on your desk.
- Check your desk and equipment for cleanliness. Even though it's only you using this stuff, germs and bacteria can move in and make you sick. So clean your mouse and your phone, dust off your desk and monitor, and disinfect your keyboard.
- Ditch the snacks on your desk. Even if they're healthy snacks, you don't want to end up mindlessly reaching for bites. Pick a snack time and keep food in your desk drawer or the office kitchen. Not only will it give you a much-needed break from work, but taking time to eat will also allow you to really enjoy your food.