If you don’t take care of your health, the chances that someone else will do it for you are slim. In the office, staying healthy might require that you do some awkward things, and your attempts may even cause confrontations with your boss and other employees. That is not great, but the alternatives are worse. The outlook for people who stay sitting down all day is not good.
The specific conclusion reached by studies vary, but the general direction of the results is the same: sitting down is bad for you. It reduces your life expectancy, increases your chance of suffering heart conditions, and may lead to the development of chronic pain in various areas of your body. The lower back and the neck are two commonly affected areas.
To make matters worse, while some of these problems can be counteracted with regular exercise, others cannot. The only way to avoid them is not to spend all day in a chair, as troublesome as that might be in some professions.
If you’d like to know how you can preserve your health, here are a few tips you can try.
1. Stand up more
It sounds simple. If sitting is damaging you, then all you have to do is stand up more. It makes sense, but there is a catch. In order to help counter the damage caused by staying six to eight hours a day in a chair, you need to stand up with a certain regularity, and preferably move around. Either in place or around the office. That means you can’t just get up when you remember to do it; you need to be systematic. Set up timers, alarms, post-it notes, whatever works in order to make you stick to a routine of moving every X number of hours, or minutes.
Sadly, there’s no rule of thumb you can use to know how much you should stand up every day. But you can start stretching for ten minutes after every hour, and then make adjustments depending on how your body feels and how much that interferes with your daily routine.
2. Get more options
You may have heard that the solution to your chair problem is getting a standing desk, or sitting on an exercise ball. The truth is, being in any one position for long periods is not good for your body. Standing up may be healthier than sitting down, but you’ll still get sore all over if you stand as still as a statue.
Having options is ideal. Being able to switch from sitting, to standing, to maybe even lying down when you work can do wonders for your long-term well-being.
3. Walk more
Walking is a great way to relieve stress, and it’s been shown to help people focus and think in the past. Whenever you are on the phone, stressed, or trying to solve a complex problem, try pacing. It can be around the length of the office, or just in small circles around your cubicle. That will get your blood flowing, relieve the tension on various areas of your body, and help counteract the negative effects of sitting for long hours at a time.
Just make sure you are pacing for the right reasons. While walking is good for your health, stress, and anxiety are not. If you often find yourself so stressed that you become restless, consider adding CBD to your diet. You can click here to learn more about it.