Add Some Physical Activity to Your Work Day

The average person spends 8.4 waking hours engaging in sedentary behaviors, like sitting at a desk or in a car and performing seated office work. Do what you can to avoid sitting in the same position for hours at a time. As we continue to hunker down at home, it might feel like you’re moving even less.

Every hour spent sitting or reclining is associated with increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Intentional physical activity like a weekend hike or after-work gym session isn’t enough to cancel out the health effects of sitting, according to a 2019 study. Hours at a desk also leads to lower back, neck, shoulder, and hip soreness.

“I encourage everyone to get up at least once an hour,” said Jacob Kmiecik physical therapist at Core Physical Therapy. “It doesn’t have to be long, 60 seconds. Just take a lap around the house or around the block.”

Here are a few ways to get moving-without losing your job.

  • Interrupt your sitting time. Get up, take a brisk walk to get a glass of water or around the building. You can put technology to work for you by getting a fitness tracker or setting reminders on your phone or calendar.
  • Change your commute to reduce time spent sitting: Can you stand on the bus? Swap your car commute for a bike commute? If you’re working from home, pretend you’re commuting and take a lap around the block before and after your work hours
  • Keep a stretchy resistance band in your desk drawer for some low-impact exercises you can do from anywhere. Watch a resistance band demo.
  • Take a fitness break: Grab a friend for a walk around the block or invite your team to a daily wall sit or planking challenge.
  • Challenge your stability: Trade your desk chair for a stability ball or use a wobble board at your standing-desk. No can do? Stand in the back of a meeting and balance on one leg and then the other.
  • If you’re on a call, stand up, pace around, do some calf raises, or any other movements.

Other than employing these techniques to improve physical movement at work, you can also take up a regular workout routine to stay agile and energetic throughout the day. Additionally, if you suffer from back and neck pain or joint discomfort, consider going for physical therapy sessions once or twice a week. You can also explore services such as myofascial release frisco (or wherever you live) for body massage facilities that can help you release stiffness, pain, etc.

Don’t feel you have to start walking at a treadmill desk or sit on a stability ball 8 hours of your working day. In fact, don’t! Your legs, feet, and back will ache. Stand until you don’t feel like standing anymore or set a reminder for 30 minutes in and see how you feel.

After work or if it’s not awkward at the office you might consider a few yoga stretches and exercises to realign yourself.

Image by DragonImages