Sitting at a desk at work all day isn’t just boring; it’s bad news for your body. Remaining sedentary is bad for everything from your blood circulation to your muscle strength to your energy levels.
Chances are, you can’t ditch the desk completely if it’s part of your career environment, but there are a few things you can do to make your desk job a little bit more active.
Step 1: Refuse to Sit Still
The fact that you can’t leave your desk job from 9-5 doesn’t mean you can’t leave your actual desk. Many workers consider themselves physically chained to their desk, but there are plenty of opportunities to get up and move around. Try not to go more than a few hours without standing up and stretching your legs, whether that means walking to the water cooler across the office, going outside for lunch or taking the stairs to use the bathroom on a different floor. You don’t need to dawdle around, but at the very least give your legs a break from sitting.
Step 2: Practice Discreet Stretches
Many basic stretches can be done without ever leaving your desk. It’s likely that your neck gets sore from staring at the monitor all day and your wrists can get tight from lots of typing. To combat the discomforts of a desk job, you can roll your wrists, ankles, shoulder and neck while sitting in your office chair. You can even work your abs by tightly squeezing and contracting your glutes and your abdominal muscles; make sure you feet are flat on the ground and your spine is straight. Hold the tension for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat as often as possible.
Step 3: Drink Lots of Water
Keep well hydrated to optimize your physical health and energy levels, whether or not you are active each day. Water will help keep you alert, plus more frequent bathroom breaks are an excellent excuse to stretch your legs more often at the office.