Exercise and Office Work
Sitting and working at a desk all day can not only be daunting and stressful for your mind, but it can take a toll on your body as well. Depending on your office environment, it may not always be easy to get up from your desk to take a moment to stretch or exercise, but it's important to try to fit in movement throughout the day.
Each day, the average American spends 7.7 to 15 hours sitting and not moving at all. According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting too long is becoming the modern equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day: It can contribute to raising your risk of ailments of diabetes and heart disease, and women who sit for seven hours a day or more are 47% more likely to develop a major depressive disorder. Some might call this a "desk sentence," but you can do something to improve the situation. Even if you're at work, you can sneak in some exercise to get your body moving.
First, it's important to remember just why physical activity is so important. For one, it helps to decrease your risk of disease. Also, when you feel great physically, you'll feel even better mentally. Therefore, by increasing your mental well-being, you'll be even more productive at that desk job. Lastly, staying active can help you prevent injuries to your body. By not stretching and exercising regularly, you're not keeping your muscles and joints limber, which can lead to injury.
How do you stay on track with adding activity to your work day? First, remember that it's important to make it routine. Make it a point to stretch at the same time every single day, preferably multiple times a day. For example, every hour, try to take a minute or two to stretch. This can be at your desk or even just a quick walk out into the hallway. Getting physical activity at work doesn't have to mean a full aerobic workout: What's important is that you make a habit of not sitting still all day long.
Also remember to always be thinking outside of the box. In the workplace, you may not always be able to roll out the yoga mat and do exercises in the middle of the office, but there are plenty of ways to do stretches while sitting at your desk or standing around waiting for your lunch to heat up in the break room.
Lastly, it's important to not feel awkward while you're sneaking physical activity into your day. While most people in your office probably aren't stretching (they should!), that doesn't mean that you should do the same. Consider stretching at the workplace like brushing your teeth: It only takes a few minutes a day, and the benefits are many. After a few weeks of doing it regularly, your new healthy habits will come naturally, and you'll be better off for it.
To learn more about exercise and office work, visit the following informative resources:
- Why Is Physical Activity Important?
- What Is Physical Activity?
- Foam Rollers Can Help Ease Aches and Pains From a Desk Job
- Exercises for the Desk-Bound
- Exercising at Your Desk
- Sedentary Behavior: Emerging Evidence for a New Health Risk
- Computer and Desk Stretches
- Is Too Much Sitting Hazardous to Your Health?
- Too Much Sitting Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes, Premature Death
- Exercise Increases Productivity