How to Stay Fit When You Sit All Day For Work

Itís no secret that sitting for eight hours straight is terrible for your health. Uninterrupted sitting for that amount of time raises the risk of high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes and heart disease.

Sure, there are standing desks, but even that doesnít solve the problem of the sedentary aspect of desk jobs. Standing in the same spot all day might be better than sitting, but it doesnít mean youíre being healthy. And most of us cannot read, type and take calls while running on a treadmill.

The bad news is: Humans are meant to move for the majority of the day, and youíre not doing that if youíre sitting at your desk for eight hours at a time.

The good news is: sitting all day and focusing on completing your tasks requires an immense degree of intelligence and focus Ė intelligence and focus that can be harnessed into living as healthy as possible despite the limitations of your day job.

Find physical tasks in your office to do.†

Does the HR lady need help decorating for a party? Did a big delivery come in that needs to be unpacked and put away? Is the boss having a bad day and might appreciate a coffee? Always be the one who volunteers, because it means you get to get up, move and still be considered ďuseful.Ē

Eat light for lunch.

This one is hard because thereís nothing like an office job to make you want to stress eat. But think about it: much of your day is spent sitting, meaning your metabolism is slowing down to compensate. So eating heavy, greasy foods might set off your dopamine receptors, but it is not the way to go, health-wise.

Ditch the sandwich and go for a salad. Instead of a processed granola bar or candy, have a bit of fruit. Drink lots of water or tea throughout the day.

Take care of your eyes.

If your office job requires looking at a screen all day, take breaks every twenty minutes, even if itís only for a minute. Take a minute to look away from your screen and focus on objects that are at least twenty feet away. Doing this will help alleviate digital eyestrain.

There are also blue-light-blocking glasses to consider. Itís possible to get them even if you donít need glasses for eyesight and the filter can be added to an existing prescription. While research has questioned their effectiveness in alleviating digital eyestrain during the day, scientists do believe that filtering out blue light can help prevent the disruption of sleep patterns that some people experience when they use their phones, computers or TVs at night.

Take meaningful breaks.

You are entitled to take breaks. You need to for your health and wellbeing. Take your well-deserved breaks and make them intentional. Meet a friend who works nearby, take a walk by yourself, or even work out. If your gym or yoga studio is close enough, take advantage and squeeze in a workout before lunch. If youíre concerned about taking too much time out of your workday, consider investing in a jump rope. Theyíre cheap, easily portable and jumping rope is amazing for your cardiovascular health.

Design an active commute.

Is there a way for your commute to be more active? Could you bike to work? Or walk part of the way? If you take a bus or subway, try getting off a stop or two early and walking a bit more than youíre used to (but of course, only if itís safe).

Be a health advocate for yourself and your colleagues.

Research has proven that healthy employees are more productive, efficient and cost their companies less.

Many companies are taking this data seriously and bring in yoga instructors, Zumba instructors or massage therapists once a week or once a month. It may be that the only reason your office hasnít already done something similar is because nobody has asked for it. Be the person who asks for it.

Your company may be too frugal or small to support something like this, but youíll never know until you ask.

Be as active as possible when youíre off the clock.

Sometimes your workday is completely out of your control. There will be days when duty calls and youíll neglect the jump rope and will really have to sit all day. Itís important to remember on these days especially that you are in control of your off-time. Use your precious time to be active, knowing that you are investing in your long-term health and wellbeing.

By Emily Lowinger

32 comments

hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN hEARFIELD14 days ago

tyfs

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Thomas M
Thomas M17 days ago

thanks very much

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Richard B
Richard B23 days ago

good advice

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Thomas M
Thomas M28 days ago

TYFS

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tammy C
tammy Cabout a month ago

walk on your break, take the stairs not the elevator, take the long way and get a few extra steps in

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Renata K
Renata Kovacsabout a month ago

Thank you Thoughtful post..

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Knud Thirup
Knud Thirupabout a month ago

thank you
shared and noted

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Ruth G
Ruth Gabout a month ago

Good advice , I have also read the same elsewhere that if you are mostly sedentary with work or mobility problems ,that if you keep getting up & down throughout the day even for a short while it prevents a host of problems blood pressure ,weight gain, that result from sitting hour after hour.without moving

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Paulo R
Paulo Reesonabout a month ago

ty

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Carole R
Carole Rabout a month ago

Good ideas.

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