Just how often do you spend your entire workday sitting? According to various research studies, the average white-collar worker spends about three-quarters of their time sitting down, and this doesn’t bode well for their long-term health.
It has been reported that 70 percent of healthcare costs are related to preventable conditions. Since studies have continually proven that sitting down for long bouts of time can lead to various chronic health conditions, it’s safe to say that we need to be doing more to refrain from sitting down for hours at a time.
A growing number of offices have tried to remedy this problem by installing standing workstations and buying exercise equipment, but the number of businesses doing this doesn’t yet suffice. Employees have to take an active approach to improving their own activity and health standards while on the job performing their tasks.
Unsure how to stay active during the day at work? Here are seven steps to insert into your daily routine:
1. Invest in a Pedometer
A pedometer is a device that counts each step an individual takes by monitoring the motion of the person’s hips. This gadget can be purchased for a few dollars in stores or used on smartphones through apps. By using a pedometer, you can measure how many steps you take in a day - the most recommended number is 2,000.
2. Always Try to Walk
You should always walk. Since you can be sitting for long stretches of time, it’s important to try to walk as an alternative to standing or sitting before or after work. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you do it. Here are a few simple but clever tips to getting some more steps into your day:
- If you take public transport, then get off one or two stops before your destination.
- If you’re driving, then park further away from the office so you can walk.
- Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, take the stairs.
- Upon your arrival at the office, take the longest route to your desk.
- Take a few moments to walk over to your colleague instead of emailing.
3. Regularly Stand Up & Stretch
Every 30 minutes to an hour, stand up for a minute or two and stretch. You don’t have to an extensive yoga session each hour, but all it takes are a few rudimentary stretches that include your arms, hands, neck and legs.
4. Organize Your Office to Accommodate Activity
Moving forward, organize your office in a certain way that requires you to actually stand up to walk over and grab the item in question. Instead of sitting in your chair and stretching your arm to access the pen, paper, file, etc., you will now be required to get up from your sedentary position and use your body.
5. Take Full Advantage of Your Bathroom Break
Indeed, you will only have three to five minutes to perform your bathroom business. With that being said, try to take advantage of this time as much possible, which can consist of doing quick bursts of exercise, stretches or running up and down the stairs. For instance, if it took you only two minutes to use the restroom then spend an additional two minutes walking a few flights of stairs.
6. Incorporate Chair Exercises into Your Routine
If you have plenty of work to do today that you can hardly separate yourself from your workstation then perform a few chair exercises. According to WebMD.com, there are three stretching exercises you can do without standing up:
- Take a deep breath and shrug your shoulders lifting them up to your ears.
- Inhale and turn to the left and right while grabbing your chair and twist your torso.
- Lift your arms and stretch out your hands pointing at the monitor (or floor).
7. Try to Get a Standing Workstation
Although these are fantastic tips to remaining active and reducing the stiffness in your body throughout your eight-hour workday, the most effective item is a standing workstation. If there is room in your company’s budget, negotiate and plead with the accounting department, HR team or executives to purchase a set of standing workstations. Be as persistent as possible!
Over the years, workers have suffered from a litany of health problems that stem from sitting all day. In the past decade, we have become a lot more aware of this issue and many employees as well as business owners have tried to remedy the matter. There have been strides, but we still need to do a lot more to end these sedentary, catatonic states.
Is your workplace sedentary? How do you deal with it? Your thoughts and comments below please...