As technology progresses, more and more people spend the majority of the day using a computer, which means a lot of time sitting at a desk. Sitting for long periods can be bad for your health for a variety of reasons, so how can you stay healthy when your job makes you sedentary from nine to five?
Watch Your Calories
From birthday cakes to pizza Fridays, if you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll know a ridiculous amount of unhealthy food is always on offer. However, it may shock you to find out that office workers eat 100,000 extra calories yearly, which could lead to a gain of up to 28lbs a year. The best thing to do is avoid snacks entirely, eating a healthy meal at lunchtime that’s balanced to avoid a mid-afternoon slump. However, if you are genuinely hungry, reach for fruit, veggie sticks and other low-sugar, low-calorie options.
Take Regular Breaks from Your Screen
According to an article by the Optometric Physicians of Middle Tennessee (OPMT), prolonged use of a computer screen can cause Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Most office workers will recognize the symptoms such as tiredness and eye strain, and the best way to avoid this is to take regular breaks from your computer, ideally going for a quick walk outside. You should also make sure you blink regularly when using your computer to avoid dry eyes. It is also advisable to have regular eye tests and only work in well-lit rooms.
Drink Plenty of Water
Sitting in a room with the air conditioner or heating switched on all day means you’re at risk of dehydration. Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired and moody, so make sure you have a big bottle of water on your desk at all times. Coffee, soda or diet soda don’t count — in fact, they can even dehydrate you.
Get Some Exercise at Lunchtime
Don’t use your lunch break to sit scrolling through your phone. An hour of free time is much better spent getting some exercise and negating some of the effects of sitting all day. Many people find that working out at lunchtime makes them more productive, and can help if you get aches and pains from sitting in a chair for hours. If you’re a serial snacker, it can also help burn off some of those calories.
Stand at Your Desk
In recent years, standing desks have become a common sight in offices across the world. While standing at your desk doesn’t burn many extra calories, working at a standing desk could potentially help with issues caused by sitting for hours, such as strain on the spine and neck. Ideally, you should pick a desk that converts from standing to sitting, so you can get the best of both worlds.
Stretch at Your Desk
It’s easy for your muscles to get knotted and fatigued when you are stuck at a desk all day, so make some time for a quick stretch and you’ll feel better. There are stretching exercises you can do at your desk while you’re on a conference call, or you could even book a yoga session at lunchtime to get the benefits of a good stretch.