Quitting your job to make more time to be active is most likely not an option, though it would accomplish the goal. For those who work, it is important to find ways throughout the day to introduce activity. Sitting for eight or more hours every day can take its toll on your overall well-being. It is important to incorporate stretch breaks throughout your day to improve your physical fitness and help to keep you active.
A research study published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine found that sitting for extended periods everyday increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and death. Sitting with poor posture can also place excess weight on the spine, causing alignment problems and tight muscles that can lead to chronic neck and back pain.
If quitting your job to be more active is not an option than follow the five tips below in order to be more active and improve your health while you work.
- Sit Less. Limiting the amount of time, you sit during the day can be a great place to start. Consider getting a standing desk. If you must sit take regular breaks to walk around the office to talk to a co-worker or fill your water bottle. Other options are to stand when talking on the phone and walk to deliver a message to your colleague versus sending an email.
- Exercise at the Office. Exercise at your desk while you work by stretching your arms above your head, tilting your ears to your shoulders, and putting your hand on the back of your chair and gently twisting your back. You can also walk around the parking lot, lunge or squat in place to get your muscles warmed up while you work. There is no need to get sweaty to get the muscles moving.
- Walk or Bike to work. If not possible to bike or walk to work, park in the furthest spot away from the door. This will force you to get a few extra steps into your day and give you time to clear your mind. Physical fitness can get you into the right mindset for a productive work day.
- Bring your lunch to work. This is an easy practice that takes some planning but will help you avoid ordering delivery or picking up fast food. Bringing your lunch to work isn’t only nutritious, but it will ultimately save you time of waiting in the line to order and pick up your food. It is also cost-effective. You can then use that time to go for a walk or go to the gym.
- Set goals. It is important to challenge yourself to be active and set realistic, specific goals then you can hold yourself accountable and reach them. This may be walking a specific number of steps daily, bringing your lunch to work a certain number of days during the week, or performing five push-ups by your desk during your morning break. It is easy to fall into a rut and not continue to set goals for self-improvement. You will not only feel better about yourself, but you will be more productive at work.
Hopefully you find these tips beneficial. In addition, to chiropractic adjustments we would be happy to demonstrate and review exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine. If you need some help moving better with less pain schedule an appointment. Get back to doing what you love! We are always happy to help.
by Melanie Dockter, DC CACCP