Although sitting is a serious hazard to our health, unfortunately many of us have jobs that require long hours of sitting …
What are you doing most of the day? Sitting? Well, join the club! The majority of jobs include long sitting periods throughout the day. It’s unbelievable, but we sit 30 hours a week at average because oftentimes people only move to the lunch room and back for several reasons. Either too much to do, stress, no time, or slowly starting inertia (inactivity).
Too much sitting will cause health issues from head to toe …
… just to name a few:
- Organ damage (heart disease, overproductive pancreas, colon cancer)
- Muscle degeneration — poor posture will cause tightness in hips and your “feel good” Psoas muscle (read more about it in my post HERE), as well as kiss your abs goodbye!
- Leg disorders (poor blood circulation, soft bones)
- Strained neck and shoulders
- “Foggy” brain due to lack of oxygen from poor blood flow
- Back pain problems (inflexible spine, disk damage)
What to do??
How often do you get up during the day? Do you have a special chair at your workplace? Perhaps a big ball? Or how about a height-adjustable desk that allows you to stand up while working?
Here are a few tips and helpful tools that will help alleviate and prevent serious health issues:
- Use a ball office-chair! …. and there are different ones out there! Many of us think of a big, colorful exercise ball that will give your office a touch of a gym or perhaps you fear that it might look a little unprofessional, but no worries! There are office chair balls available that look cool and stylish. I have this one (picture on the right) from the brand TOPSTAR, type “Sitness Creative.” It’s effective, a ball, you can adjust the height of the chair by deciding how much air the ball will have, and it’s set, thus no moving of the ball around the room when you have to get up quickly. Plus you will constantly train your abs and lower back muscles. A win-win 🙂
- Change your sitting position every 30 minutes
- Set your alarm clock every hour and get up to walk to the printer/kitchen or to talk to your colleagues instead of writing them an email.
- Stay hydrated! Always have a big glass of water (or unsweetened tea) next to you to keep your blood flow going and organs working.
- Get a height adjustable desk. I used to have one at my internship with a big bank in Chicago and LOVED IT! I am currently looking into buying one for myself for my office. It’s amazing because you are automatically more active the whole day. You standing up increases the likelihood to go to the copy room, your co-workers, and other places you’d probably avoid getting up for if you don’t really have to. Believe me, it will make you more energized, motivated to work, get things done, AND even to go to the gym after work! It just keeps you going and more balanced and happy as a result!
- Use a Pilates pillow/cushion. You can use it on your office chair or when you stand up. (Find a picture of it and exercises for it HERE). It’s very versatile and will work every muscle in your body. This will not only improve your blood flow and cardiovascular health, it will also increase your concentration and productivity at work.
- Stretch! There are different exercises that everyone can do with any office chair or at home after work. Find stretches to de-stress and relieve stiffness in one of my posts HERE.I organized an Office Chair Yoga class instructed by Candace of YOGAbyCANDACE at my workplace. She will make a stop during her Europe tour and I am super excited to take a class with her and learn about every-day stretches in the office! I will post about it after the class, so stay yogilated 🙂