Everybody is familiar with those days at work when you’re in the ‘zone’ and ploughing through your to-do list without moving from your desk for hours at a time. I can think of a few guilty parties here at Adzuna HQ who would benefit from this advice. Research has shown that remaining seated for long periods of time with no breaks can be seriously damaging for you health. Yikes! There is even evidence that links long periods of sedentary behaviour with the development serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, weight gain and obesity. It doesn’t have to be long breaks, simply getting up and walking around at least every hour will do wonders for your weight, health and concentration.
Today’s technology means most of our world revolves around a screen, sitting for hours during the day at our computer and then most of the evening and weekends watching your favorite series. Some people will go for a run a few times a week or attend an exercise class, which is definitely better than nothing, but it won’t counterbalance the hours you spend sitting at your desk, week in week out, without moving.
4 Reasons To Get Up From Your Desk Every Hour Or So:
- The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with a sedentary lifestyle.
- The healthy cholesterol (HDL) whose function is to keep your ticker ticking is damaged with extended periods of sitting which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Your body is designed for regular movement to keep your muscles happy. Sitting at a desk for hours without moving can cause trouble in your back and extremities.
- Regular movement keeps your brain sharp which will make you more productive and creative at work. That is surely a good thing?
What To Do If Your Job Demands Long Hours Of Sitting
It is true that some jobs do demand more sedentary time than others so here is our advice to counterbalance the potentially damaging side effects. Create a plan of action that includes some of the following:
- Stand up and walk around every hour, even if it is just to go make a cup of tea
- Go to the toilets on a different floor or in a different part of the office to get a little bit of exercise in throughout the day
- At lunch, make sure you walk around a bit, whether to the cantine or to the shops to get a sandwich to get your muscles moving
- Walk around when you’re on the phone (if that is allowed)
- If possible do a few simple back stretching exercises
- If you need to talk to a coworker, walk to their desk/office rather than using instant messages
- Go for a walk with your roommate or spouse after dinner, it’s a great way to destress
- Walk the dog every day, twice a day
We’re not suggesting you need to run a marathon every hour of the day. Simple movements introduced to your work life can make all the difference to your health and mind. Regular movement will help you be more productive, less tired and generally happier and healthier. What more can you ask for? Let’s get moving!