Traditionally our parents and especially grandparents didn’t have to worry about getting enough exercise at work.
Jobs in agriculture, manufacturing and most other jobs up until late required a lot of manual hard labor. You had to worry about maintaining your health because the body took such a beating.
Today however we have the opposite problem, we do not do enough physical activity at work and remain seated for most of the day. After putting in a full day of work, most people do not want to go to the gym, exercise and do more work which is understandable.
Unfortunately though however, sitting down for prolonged periods of time and not exercising for the recommended 30 minutes a day, 5 day a week routine puts us at health risks. If left unchecked, many of these health risks could have severe even life threatening effects on our health.
One major thing we want to avoid is something called deep vein thrombosis or DVT. DVT is attributed to lack of exercise through prolonged periods of sitting. This is a serious concern but it is also something that can be remedied very easily.
Getting up from our chairs, walking around and stretching for a period of 5-10 minutes, every 60-90 minutes is a very simple way to help prevent DVT.
If you use a keyboard for work like most of us do, then Carpal tunnel syndrome is something you have to keep in mind when doing so. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disease that affects the nerves within the wrist, associated with prolonged keyboard use.
This is a serious problem to consider but thankfully there things we can do to prevent it from happening.
One thing to do is a simple stretch of the arm and forearm. To perform this stretch, you must stand over a table or your desk with your fingers facing inward(twist your wrists to the outside clockwise). Place your hands on the desk and gradually lower your body, applying slight pressure on your forearms. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds and repeat throughout the day as needed.
The idea may sound stupid on paper, but this is something that can easily be done at the office during work hours. If you work within a cubicle or in a conference setting this will obviously be difficult but most people will not fall in to this category. Most of us work from a desk in an office or from home so it is not hard to do.
Having an adjustable or standing desk makes running or walking while at work even easier and will also help to combat DVT as well.
If you are already in shape and really want a challenge, swap out your desk chair. As mentioned earlier it most likely isn’t doing you any good because of the DVT risks and probably isn’t helping your posture too much either.
There are chairs specifically designed like a bosu ball, but also have back supports to help with posture. Sitting on one of these things and maintaining an upright posture is an exercise in itself, and will definitely workout your core.
If you don’t want to bother with the hassle of exercising while at work, you can exercise on your way to and from work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park at the back of the lot and take a longer walk to the office. You can also try talking to co-workers face to face instead of through e-mail or phone, which will also get you up and moving around.
Another easy thing to do to try and stay healthy at the office is to substitute water for other drinks, and to prepare your own food. This will help to curb the consumption of extra fat, salt and calories that you won’t need for working at a desk all day.
All of these little things add up over time and will have a positive effect on your overall health. It is important to try to do these exercises because even such a small time investment in doing so can prevent major problems down the line.