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If you’re reading this, it means you’re wondering how you can best juggle your wellness and career goals. The body of an office worker, like you, is not used to the rigors of physical work all day long. However, if you don’t mind making some sacrifices, it’s possible to stay healthy in your environment.
The sedentary lifestyle of many professionals is a growing concern for health experts. But even if we’re sitting all day working on our computers and phones, we can still make changes that improve our well-being. Need help getting started? Check out these suggestions below:
Related: Beat Your Seat: Tips for Avoiding a Sedentary Workplace
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to make sure you eat regularly and nourish yourself, but that’s easier said than done as many people eat in front of their computers and do other activities while eating Here are a few suggestions:
Avoid eating junk food while working.
Eat a balanced meal with protein and complex carbohydrates, such as an omelet or soup and whole grain bread, to keep you energized throughout the day.
Walk around the office
Get up and walk for at least five minutes every hour.
Take the stairs instead of using an elevator or, if available, use a stair-climbing machine during lunch breaks (try not to fall).
Carry a water bottle that you have to stand up to fill with water. This will give you more opportunities to drink more water throughout the day, and you’ll also encourage walking, because it’s less convenient than being able to refill your coffee cup without getting up from your desk!
Adjust your workspace
Ask an ergonomics professional to evaluate your workspace. Just know that adjusting your workspace is an important first step to improving your health. There are many ways to do this, but these are some of the most common:
Adjust the height of the chair and backrest: If you’re sitting at a desk, try adjusting your chair height to support the natural curve of your lower back. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees at 90 degrees when sitting upright in the chair. You may also want to look for ergonomic chairs, which can help align your spine while you’re at work or while relaxing after work.
Adjust your computer monitor: When using a computer screen for long periods of time (more than two hours), adjust the height of the computer screen so that it looks slightly down to eye level when standing, without looking too tall or too down It’s also important to rotate screens vertically once every hour or so, if possible; this helps reduce eye strain from constantly focusing on a spot from left to right and up and down movements, which could contribute to poor posture over time due to muscle fatigue caused by overuse excessive
Adjust the desktop: Try adjusting where items like drawers are within reach for easy access during breaks during shifts, because being able to move around often helps prevent stiffness from building up over days spent sitting doing similar tasks over and over without movement interruptions between them (for example, writing emails).
Practice deep breathing
Breathing is a natural process that keeps us alive and functioning, but many people do not breathe properly due to stress, anxiety or bad habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco. It’s also easy to forget how to breathe properly if you don’t focus on it all the time!
To start the breathing exercises:
Inhale through your nose for a count of five seconds.
Hold for a count of two seconds.
Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight seconds.
Related: 5 Easy Approaches to Working Out at the Office
Meditation is a great way to relax and relieve stress, improve your mental health, improve your physical health and relationships, and even improve your work. Here are some tips for meditating effectively:
Find a comfortable sitting position for a quick meditation break. You can sit on an upright chair with both feet on the floor or on a cushion with your legs crossed on the floor. Either way, make sure you are comfortable enough to focus without having to adjust throughout the meditation.
Notice what you are thinking during each mediation session; you may have thoughts about work or other tasks you need to do later in the day; just let them pass without judging them as good or bad. You will probably find that after several meditation sessions (ideally daily), these thoughts no longer bother you, because they are no longer so important in your life.
Take regular breaks throughout the day.
There are many ways to take a break during the day to get away from your desk. You can walk to the bathroom, or you can walk to the kitchen, or you can walk to the printer. You can also take a short break to get coffee or water from the coffee machine or fountain in your office. Even better, get some sun and vitamin D by taking in some fresh air while walking around the island. If you can, check out a treadmill desk or head down to the wellness center for a quick break.
Use reminder alarms to encourage stretching every hour or two
Use reminder alarms on your smart device to encourage you to stretch every hour or two.
When the alarm goes off, stop what you’re doing and lie down. You can choose a different section each time.
Pay attention to pain as it builds up during a stretch. If the pain becomes too great, stop stretching immediately! Pain is a warning sign that something is wrong, so if you experience pain while exercising, take it seriously. Pain can be a symptom of an underlying condition or even a serious problem that requires medical attention. This is especially true if the pain gets worse over time or interferes with your daily life.
Related: 6 Benefits of Breaking Away from Your Desk for a Break Outside
A sedentary lifestyle can be bad for your health, but small changes can make a big difference. Sitting for too long can cause weight gain, back pain and slouching, and can also impair circulation, stress levels and muscle tone. Experts also suspect that sitting too long can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.
If you’re a sedentary professional, avoiding the physical effects of a sedentary lifestyle isn’t as difficult as you might think. The key is to start small and build up the overtime until it becomes second nature. If you want to be more active, start by taking short walks around your office or throughout the day. You can also try getting up from your desk at least once an hour and doing some stretching or deep breathing exercises to improve circulation and relieve stress. If your workplace has a team that advocates for culture and welcomes wellness challenges, sign up and get involved. Finding a few hours in your busy schedule to exercise each day can seem like a hassle. However, if you are committed to your health, it is essential to make some changes.