Whether you’re back the office, or working remotely, siitting at a desk all day can impact your health and wellbeing. The average employee spends 6-8 hours a day sitting at their desk, meaning that most of us spend about a third of our waking hours in a seated position. A survey by the the American Heart Association found that 74% of office workers experience some kind of pain or discomfort. Fortunately, there are easy steps we can take to stay in shape, improve our health, and prevent chronic pain. In this blog, we’ll share some tips and tricks to support our health while on the job.
"Standing can actually help you burn 5-6x more calories than calories burned while sitting down."
Stretch at your desk
Implement simple stretches at your desk throughout the day to stay limber and prevent muscle stiffness. This can include doing some shoulder shrugs, neck rotations, and wrist circles. You can also do calf raises and leg extensions under your desk to get your blood flowing and your muscles engaged. To learn more about effective deskercises, click here. You can also consider doing yoga or pilates to improve your flexibility and posture.
Believe it or not, one of the most effective things you can do to stay healthy and productive at work is to take breaks. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to a variety of health problems, including back pain, neck pain, and even cardiovascular disease. Skipping breaks can also lead to faster burnout and increased stress levels. To combat these issues, try to take a five-minute break every hour. Get up from your desk, stretch your legs, and move around a bit. Even a short walk around the office can help improve your circulation and keep your energy levels up. You can also opt to take a longer group break at a specific time everyday by doing a team activity like a group walk or meditation session. The trick is figuring out type of break schedule works for your work style.
Consider a standing desk
If you’re able to, consider using a standing desk to break up your day and give your body a break from sitting. Standing can actually help you burn 5-6x more calories than than calories burned while sitting down. Standing desks are usually adjustable, so you can easily alternate between sitting or standing throughout the workday. They’ve been shown to improve posture, reduce back pain, and increase productivity, you can check out some top options here. If you don’t have a standing desk, consider a converter to modify your existing desk.
What we eat has a substantial impact on our energy levels throughout the day. Glucose is what keeps our mind focused and alert, which is why it can be difficult to focus on an empty stomach.
Instead of relying on vending machine snacks or unhealthy office treats that can leave us feeling lethargic and sluggish, bring your own healthy snacks to work. Consider packing fruits, veggies, nuts, or low-sugar protein bars to keep you energized, focused, and productive throughout the day. If you’re in need of some brain food ideas, click here.
Staying hydrated is another key factor in staying healthy and productive at work. Too much coffee, sugary sodas, and energy drinks can lead to crashes and cause you to feel sluggish and dehydrated. Keeping a water bottle at your desk makes it much easier to meet your daily water intake needs, check out some great options here.
Take advantage of workplace wellness programs
Many workplaces offer wellness programs and benefits to employees such as gym discounts, access to fitness applications, nutrition counseling, and more. Take advantage of these offerings to stay in shape and improve your overall health. Not only can these programs help you feel better physically, but they can also improve your mental health and productivity. If you’re a TouchCare member interested in what wellness benefits your work-sponsored plan might have to offer, click here.