For some, waking up and going to work is a struggle. Sad as it is, many people hate their jobs. They dread going to work, sitting long hours on end, hour after hour, meeting after meeting, by the end of the day they are exhausted and their bodies ache – have you wondered why? Some people don’t sit correctly or they don’t stretch or move their bodies to get some circulation into their tissues. Sitting at the office for long hours on end shouldn’t affect your health negatively, here are a few stretches you can do at the comfort of your own office. And the best thing about these stretches is that they can be done anywhere, not only in the office but at home, at school, if you’re a cashier it can be done right there while waiting for a customer, if you’re a security guard you can do them while you work, if you’re the president you can do it while you run the country any time and any day. All this in the comfort of wherever you are. As a student I know about sitting hours on end in the lecture hall, well guess what? In the 15 minute break between each lecture, you too can do these stretches.
So why all the fuss? Sitting decreases processes which increases health risks thus your blood pressure and blood sugar levels increase, excess body fat around waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. This may increase risk of cardiovascular disease. Your metabolism essentially slows down which also plays a role in weight gain. The main issue with sitting for long periods of time is the absence of movement rather than time spent sitting.
- Stay hydrated – Set an alarm every hour to fetch water/fill your water bottle. This way you stay hydrated and you move more and also drinking lots of water will hydrate you which is always good and water also causes you to use the bathroom more which means standing up and moving.
- Take regular breaks – The human brain can concentrate at optimum performance for an average of 40 to 50 mins therefore after 40 to 50 mins of you focusing on your work and sitting down then take a 10 to 20 mins break, which then during the break you should – walk around the office, go to the bathroom, fetch some water/files or you can do the below stretches. Impact of movement whether subtle or short can make a huge difference not only does it burn calories but it increases your energy levels. As stated above, muscle activity triggers breakdown of fats and sugars with the body. SIT LESS, MOVE MORE
- Watch less TV – People spend a lot of time watching television – not only do they sit for hours on end doing nothing but a lot of these people eat/binge while doing so. There’s nothing wrong with eating or watching some television. However when you eat and don’t exercise it causes weight gain especially when eating the wrong foods. So watch what you eat while sitting in front of the telly, drink lots of water especially when you’re craving snacks. Instead of watching television why not go for a walk/run, walk/play with your dog/kids, clean the house or do the garden, go for a swim, play soccer – trust me there’s a lot you can do rather than sitting at home and watching television. If you enjoy reading books then opt to read but remember to take your regular breaks, stretch and move around. And if you really have to watch television then take regular breaks for some movement.
- Stand up more – Stand in meetings or walk around while you speak or present if it’s possible.
- Stretch – Stretching will increase blood flow to muscles and therefore processes start up again. Increasing metabolism, using the glucose in your blood and tissues. Reboots your energy levels and increases your flexibility and also feels great.
Below is an example of the amount of calories I would burn - Sitting vs Standing (Use the app Calorielab.com to see you calorie difference.)
(Image source: lifehack.org)
Peace. Happiness. Success.