How to Stay Healthy while You Sit
Does your job require you to sit at desk for seven or more hours a day? Well, you aren’t alone. Millions of Americans work in offices where they sit in front of a computer day after day. This type of sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Thankfully, though, there are ways to stay healthy when you sit and protect yourself from these and other health conditions.
Take a Break to Stand
Try to get into the habit of taking a 5- to 10-minute standing break every 30 minutes that you spend sitting. You don’t have to necessarily exercise or even walk around. Just standing is enough to stretch your muscles and encourage healthy blood circulation. And if you’re worried about not being able to work, consider investing in a standing desk. Regular standing breaks are essential to your health when sitting for a long period of time.
Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
When working in front of a computer, follow the 20-20-20 rule to protect against eye strain. As explained by the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), this involves staring at a distance or object that’s at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Computer usage is frequently associated with blurred vision, headache and eye pain. These problems can often be avoided by following the 20-20-20 rule as it allows your eyes to rest.
Stretch Your Wrists
Wrist pain is a common complaint among office workers. Whether you’re writing or typing, repetitive wrist motions such as these can cause painful joint inflammation. If left unaddressed, this pain can lead to more serious problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, it’s recommended that you stretch your wrists every hour. Holding your hands in front of your face and rolling them around will stretch the muscles and protect against inflammation. You can also stretch your wrists by interlocking your fingers together and gently pushing away from your body.
Reevaluate Your Work Station
The space in which you work will affect your health. If your using a computer on a desk that isn’t specifically designed for a computer, it may strain your body. A proper computer desk should be designed with an optimal sitting height and feature a tray for the keyboard and mouse.
Bring Snacks and Meals From Home
Picking up a burger and fries from a nearby fast food restaurant is certainly easier than preparing and bringing a meal from home, but it can hurt your health. Fast food and other processed convenience foods often contain filler ingredients like sugar and corn syrup while offering little or no nutritional value. By preparing your own meals, you can choose natural, nutritious ingredients.
In addition to being nutritious, home-prepared snacks and meals promote weight loss. Millions of Americans struggle with weight loss, partly because they eat out. It’s not uncommon for fast food meals to contain more than 1,000 calories, half the recommended amount for most adults. You’ll have greater control over calorie content when preparing your own meals, making weight loss just a little easier.
Don’t let long periods of inactivity hurt your health. Follow the tips described here to stay healthy when sitting.