Millions of people spend several hours each day sitting at a desk. People who spend much of their day in a sitting position are at a higher risk of developing serious conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Many of these individuals may also be at risk of suffering from repetitive use injuries. It’s important to stay as active as possible, even if you’re spending much of your day sitting. Here are six easy ways to stay active if you sit at a desk all day.
1. Walk or Bike to Work
Many people who don’t live that far from work get their daily exercise in by walking or biking to work. Even if it isn’t realistic to walk or bike to your job, you can still add some walking to your daily routine. Get off the train or bus several blocks away so you can at least walk part of the way. If you drive, park farther away. A few simple changes can get you moving more during the day.
2. Ditch the Chair
Working at a standing desk will help improve your posture, circulation, and endurance. You may want to start out slow by standing for an hour or two at a time. Standing for several hours each day instead of sitting can also make a difference in the amount of calories you’ll be able to burn.
3. Sit on an Exercise Ball
If you do need to sit, try an exercise ball. This will help your posture and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Sitting on an exercise ball forces a person to sit straight. While exercise balls come in a wide range of prices, many can be purchased for less than thirty dollars. A physical therapist can advise you regarding the type and size that will work best for you.
4. See Your Colleagues in Person
Instead of texting or sending an email each time you need to communicate with a colleague, make the effort to see someone in person. Even in a smaller office this can make a big difference in your activity level if you’re getting up to walk somewhere several times a day. If you want to be more precise about how much activity you’re getting in, make a habit of walking 5 minutes every hour. During an average work day that would add up to 35 to 45 minutes of walking each day.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Take the time to stand, stretch, and move around, even if it’s just near your desk. A trained physical therapist can design a simple stretching routine for you to do throughout the day. Physical therapy may be just what you need to get you moving more. It’s important to have your fitness level tested so a professional can put together the best stretches for your physical needs.
6. Visit a Physical Therapist
Even if you get adequate workouts each week, sitting at a desk for hours each day can still be pretty rough on your body. According to PT in Motion News, individuals who work in an office are at the highest risk of developing neck pain. Sitting for extended periods of time can result in poor posture as well as back and hip problems. A physical therapist can create an exercise program that works for your busy life. A physical therapy program at Choice Therapy can teach you stretches you can do at your desk during breaks and at home during the evenings to relieve the tension in your muscles and joints.