Own a Fitbit? Hate to look at when you’re at work and see at the end of the day you’ve only clocked 2,000 steps? Did you know that prolonged sitting could be almost as detrimental to your health as smoking? According to The Mayo Clinic sitting for long periods of time can result in increased blood sugar and pressure rates, along with high levels of cholesterol and excess body fat.
If you’re stuck sitting at a desk, 5 days a week, staying active during the day can seem impossible. While you might have to walk down the hall for a restroom break or meeting, most of the time you’re sitting. Even though you can’t leave your desk to exercise, there are still things you can do to stay active at work and improve your health.
Stretching is not only beneficial before and after a workout, it can also keep you alert and focused at work. Whether it is simple finger exercise or stretching out your entire body, the activity can also improve your overall health. If you don’t want to be the only one in the office stretching in the morning or afternoon, encourage your co-workers to join you.
Stand Up at Your Desk
Even though you might be stuck at a desk all day, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get in a little activity. Standing up to answer the phone or read the latest company memo is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. Just standing up at least 35 times a day can help to counteract the health risks associated with sitting for extended periods of time.
Request a Standing Desk
Standing desks are gaining in popularity. If the company you work for doesn’t already offer them, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Who knows you could even start a new health trend at the office that benefits everyone.
Replace Your Chair with an Exercise Ball
This isn’t easy, unless you used to sitting on an exercise ball. But replacing your chair with one can improve muscle strength in your core. Some even come with supportive backs, so even your posture will benefit from the use of one.
Keep Office Supplies Out of Easy Reach
If you have to stand up and move around to find a file, paper clip or other office supplies, you are getting some activity in. Simply moving items that you use every day from your desk to a nearby counter will help ensure that you are getting your “activity steps” in. It is a simple and easy way to ensure that you are getting some activity in at work.
The best way to stop hating your Fitbit is to move. Walk instead of take the stairs, and stand up from your desk periodically throughout the day. If you are fortunate enough to have a lunch break where you can leave the facility, take a walk in a nearby park while eating. If you are stuck at work walk around the office, even if it is just to a co-worker’s desk. Even the slightest activity is better for your health than nothing at all.