Don't let the demands of your job keep you from being healthy.
With the new year in full swing, we are all keeping busy again at work. Unfortunately this means that we are sitting down for much longer periods of time, forgetting to drink water, and move.
It is recommended that we move every 20 minutes, but if the majority of your work is behind a computer screen, it's hard to remember to move enough during the day. Here are some tips on what you can do to get moving even at the office:
1. Set a reminder on your phone.
Every 20 minutes, set a reminder to beep or alert you in some way that it’s time for you to move. Use this as an excuse to get up and get yourself a glass of water from the kitchen. This habit will also guarantee you're drinking more and walking around more often. The breaks can be anywhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Other ideas for what to do during your breaks:
Stand up for phone calls.
Go to the restroom or get a cup of coffee/water.
Alter your tasks (break up continuous computer time with checking phone messages, reading reports, etc.)
2. Exercise your neck.
While waiting for an email, a document to open, or a page to load, exercise your neck. There are many times in an office job that you'll be waiting for your computer. While that's happening, don't keep refreshing the screen or clicking away. Close your eyes and move your head from side to side and get your neck stretching a little. A lot of the tension from your shoulders will be alleviated if you get into this habit. Tightness in the neck can be caused by stress and prolonged sitting. This can lead to a sore neck and other spinal problems down the line.
3. Get an ergonomic assessment.
Most workplaces now offer to do an ergonomic assessment for you. Sign yourself up. It could be that your chair is too low or your screen is tilted and you haven't noticed. Hours of sitting in a bad ergonomic alignment can cause years of damage to your spine.
4. Ask for a standing desk.
Sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental in ways you don't even realise. When we are sitting down for longer than a few hours, our bodies receive "shut down" signals. A study has found that sitting down after eating is particularly bad for digestion and can lead to a lot of problems like heartburn and bloating.
Many companies today offer an option of having a standing desk with adjustable heights. This gives you the flexibility of having a standing desk when you need it. If your office doesn’t offer standing desks, you can also opt in for having one in your home.
I hope these tips will help you move more wherever you are - in the office or at home!
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live” - Jim Rohn.