There has been a lot of talk about this “sitting disease” threatening to kill us all! Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration – but this “disease” does decrease your life expectancy significantly, according to a recent study. An article from Jeff Haden at Inc.com “How I Keep My Job from Killing Me,” about the extremes we can go to in order to avoid this disease, caught my attention.
So, what can you do to combat the “sitting disease” and live a healthier work life? I mean, we all know how it is – you need to sit in order to do your job. It’s hard to avoid. Do you need to go as far as installing the “Treadmill Desk” in order to avoid sudden and wrongful death?
Absolutely not. Here are a few ways to help combat “sitting disease” at much smaller cost and with less impact in your work.
Make an effort to move around
Get up and stretch, take a walk around the office, take a walk around the block, whatever works best for you. Get up and do something every hour. Taking five minutes away from your work every hour won’t hurt you. In fact, it may actually help your productivity. Set intervals and make sure you take them. Trust me, you will feel better throughout the day.
Take the stairs
Need to go to the bathroom? Is there one you can use on a different level? Use that one. Additionally, take the stairs whenever you need to go up or down a few floors — this little act will help you become healthier regardless.
Change your chair
Sitting on an exercise ball would help immensely. You’re not just sitting but you’re engaging your core and promoting better posture. If you’re worried about sitting on a ball, splurge on an exercise ball chair — although I’m not sure it would have quite as much benefit. I would also suggest keeping a regular chair as an option in case you find the action of stabilizing yourself distracting to your work.
Change your desk
This one is a bit costly, but still not as much as the treadmill. If your office/management permits them look into sit-to-stand desks. Adjustable desks allow you to sit or stand while you work and easily transition in between. These are great because you can stand until you become uncomfortable and vice-versa.
Help at home
While going to the gym after work will not solve the problem on it’s own, it will help just to avoid the couch. Now, I’m a culprit of this as well — you’ve had a long day at work, you’re tired, all you want to do is go home and unwind. This generally includes plopping yourself on the couch and reading a book or watching TV until it’s time for bed. Try to avoid that for a few more hours. Go for a walk, or even go out for a few drinks and stand at the bar.
We are all going to be victims of “sitting disease” in one way or another, but taking a few precautions could help with your health and your overall well-being.
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