As a profession, we are all prone to spending a lot of time sitting down. It is really important that we are aware of the risks of doing this, and that we actively make an effort to combat the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day. Here is an excellent article by Laure Marini Helemski addressing these issues.
Eight Tips For Being Healthy When You Sit At A Desk All Day
Author: Laure Marini Helemski – SVM Blog
Sitting in a chair in front of a computer 8 hours a day, 5 days a week can take a toll on your health. Just because you sit at a desk all day, doesn’t mean that you can’t implement some healthy lifestyle and work habit changes. Here are 8 tips that will help you stay healthy at work.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Start your day right by eating a wholesome breakfast. This will provide you with the energy and nutrients that will lead to increased concentration and productivity.
Prep meals and snacks to bring to the office
Taking control of what you bring to eat is the easiest way to regulate what you put in your mouth throughout the day. I personally love to double or triple recipes so that I have left-overs for my lunches. This takes little effort and will allow you to make a healthier choice. In addition, it is much more cost-effective than ordering take-out or going to the vending machine for snacks.
Very often, thirst is mistaken for hunger and we incorrectly snack. Sleepiness is often cause by dehydration as well, so keep yourself well hydrated by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. You can also add lemon or lime in your water for added flavor.
Going to the gym before or after a long day at work may be the last thing on your mind but it can easily be worked into your schedule 3-5 times per week, even if it is just for 30 minutes. Some companies have in-house gyms that employees can take advantage of throughout the day to make it easier to implement in your routine. SVM has an elliptical desk that we love to take advantage of!
Don’t stay at your desk too long
Sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your entire body so it is important to walk around the office and stretch often. Try to take breaks every hour or so to remain active. Take a lap around the office while your email is loading, take a walk outside during your lunch break or walk to the bathroom. If you are drinking enough water you should be needing to go to the bathroom often!
Keep a good posture when sitting
Neck and back pain can occur when sitting in a bad position for long periods of time. According to Dr. Jim Sheedy, director of the Vision Performance Institute at Pacific University, the top of your screen should be level with your eyes to make it easier for you to sit straight. You want to sit in a chair at a height where you can sit with your shoulders pulled back and relaxed, you’re sitting up tall, and your forearms are parallel to the ground so you are not reaching for the keyword or leaning towards the screen.
Get enough sleep
Sleep may seem like a waste of time when you could be answering emails or doing laundry but proper rest is an essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. Even as adults we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Wash your hands often
Washing your hands is the best way to keep yourself and your co-workers from getting sick. Always wash your hands before you eat, after using the restroom and after sneezing and coughing.
Working 9-5 in an office job can be tiring and stressful but that does not mean that you should let your health slip. With a few small changes to your daily routine, you can easily set yourself up for success