There’s no denying that jobs used to include more physical activity. Sitting at desks and in front of screens all day has no doubt contributed to a more lethargic lifestyle, but has it contributed to the growing obesity epidemic?
A common belief is that waistlines have grown because many people sit at desks 40 hours a week. People with desk jobs often develop unhealthy eating habits, which can lead to weight gain and poor diet choices. Being stagnant at a desk can cause you to have impulsive food cravings, which do not aid your health. Donuts, candy, chips, or any other typical bad treats in the office kitchen or building are not the answer. You can pack healthy snacks, which don’t cripple your health, that will help keep you energized through the day.
The sugar that people commonly eat can lead to crashing later in the day. Replace that processed sugar with natural sugars in fresh fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas because they keep well at your desk and don’t typically require refrigeration. Not to mention, a piece of fruit has way less calories than a bag of chips, for instance, and gives you more energy. You can also go for raw nuts, almond or cashew butter, or crunchy veggies. Additionally, keep yourself hydrated with water as it increases productivity and helps you stay alert at work.
Maybe you don’t have food cravings during the day and need to be stimulated via other methods. One of the best and simplest methods is to always be mindful of proper posture because bad posture can poorly affect the body. When it comes to sitting at a desk, the lower back can often become sore or stressed. You may feel a burning sensation or tightness right above your gluteus muscles. Sitting up straight like your mom told you is actually healthy. Make sure your shoulders are not rounded forward, hold in your lower abdomen, and don’t arch your back. Believe it or not, this is harder than it seems and you will be constantly thinking about it to improve the way you feel.
It is necessary to incorporate movement into your job. You may need to work at work. Tasks can be as minor as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a walk on your lunch break and eating while you work, or getting up to do a few beneficial stretches like a forward bend or a simple sun salutation. Sitting puts stress on the back, especially if you are slouching, so it is crucial for back health to relieve the pressure by moving at your desk. Lack of movement deprives the spinal discs the proper nutrients they need. Discs get the nutrients via movement, so don’t just sit there. Make a move or two, or three, or four!
Take a break from the chair and bounce on an exercise ball. Bouncing on an exercise ball can help strengthen your core and stabilize the spinal muscles. If the exercise ball isn’t your cup of tea, find working positions that benefit you the most. Take micro breaks every hour. By standing up to get a cup of water, go to the copy machine, or go to the bathroom, you restore the natural curvature of the spine. You may even need to rehab yourself at home after work. Try foam rolling, yoga, or Pilates to relieve tension and keep you healthy at work.