Now that it’s possible to work online from a laptop or office computer anywhere in the world, society has become more sedentary than ever. We know that sitting too long is bad for our health, but for many of us sitting in front of a screen for hours on end is necessary for our work.
While many of us feel that we make up for our sedentary jobs by factoring in daily exercise, new studies show that this just isn’t enough to counteract the ill effects of sitting. Instead, experts are suggesting other ways to keep our health in check. Here are five of the most effective health and fitness tips for desk workers.
Look After Your Eyes
It’s no secret that staring at a screen all day is bad for your eyes, so make sure you get regular vision check-ups and don’t forget to wear your glasses if you need them. If you have to strain your eyes to read, or you’re getting headaches after working on your laptop, it may be time for a practical vision therapy treatment from Austin Vision Center.
When you’re sat at a desk all day, it’s the easiest thing in the world to reach for the snacks to help you stay motivated. It’s fine to snack between meals if you’re hungry, but avoid eating at your desk if you can. Creating rituals around your mealtimes such as enjoying your sandwiches in the local park or eating in the staff canteen will curb your “boredom snacking,” preventing overeating and weight gain.
Get Up and Move
Since new evidence came to light, we now know that sitting down for more than six hours a day can increase our chances of diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, no matter how physically active we are outside of work. The best way to lower these health risks is to get up and move at regular intervals, even if you’re just going to make coffee or taking a stroll around the office. Better yet, ask your boss for a standing or treadmill desk to improve your health and productivity.
While it’s important to get up from your seat and move around, fidgeting in your chair could help lower the health risks of lengthy deskwork. Some studies have suggested that fidgeting can lower your risk of premature death, so feel free to stretch, jiggle your legs, rotate your wrists and ankles. If you get funny looks, you can explain to your colleagues that you’re trying to take better care of your health and increase your lifespan.
Take Regular Breaks
Taking breaks from your work will not only provide the physical break from sitting that your body needs, it will also give your mind some much-needed respite. In other words, don’t feel guilty about that trip to the toilet to check in with your friends on social media, but perhaps utilize this time better. Boost your mental wellbeing and concentration by downloading a five-minute meditation app, simply give yourself breaks to sit in silence and breathe.
We all know that sitting too long at our desks is bad for our health, but for many of us, it’s unavoidable. Luckily, moving about in our chairs, avoiding “boredom snacking,” taking regular breaks and booking routine eye checks can help us all take better care of ourselves.