If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past few years, I’m sure you’ve been informed that your 9-5 desk job is killing you. While it’s true that the hours spent behind a desk are bad for you, there are a myriad of ways to help counteract the negative effects. Below you’ll find a few good ideas to help keep you moving during office hours:
1. A New Seat
When you’re spending a good portion of your day at your desk, it makes sense that you’d want to splurge a bit when it comes to the thing you’re sitting on. You can find many high-end chairs that offer extra lumbar support and other bells and whistles, but you also may want to consider a few alternatives. Medicine balls seem to be the go-to seat swap of choice (just hope you don’t wind up like Leo Laporte!) but standing desks are also an option. If you’re up for an even more unconventional desk accessory, the Treaddesk features an adjustable desk and a thin treadmill that creeps along at 1 MPH – just enough to keep you walking but not fast enough to distract you.
2. Take A Walk
When it comes to moving around on the job, nothing beats just taking a break and taking a short walk. If you work from home, get outside and do a lap around your house. If you work in an office, forgo that email or IM and deliver a message in person. The human interaction, sunlight and/or fresh air will reinvigorate you and give you a bit of a “reset” before you plunge back into your work.
If you really can’t take a break or even stand up for a minute at your desk, there are still plenty of stretches you can do seated at your desk. The idea is to get a bit of exercise in whenever you can, especially since an injury can mean that those of us who are self-employed run the risk of being late on deadlines or even losing jobs altogether. This article from Huffington Post features six different stretches you can do without even leaving your desk (although I can’t be responsible for the looks you might get!)
4. Sit Correctly
Perhaps it is because we hear “sit up straight” so many times as children that we sometimes fail to recognize it as solid advice, but it is! The proper desk chair posture has been referred to as the 90-90-90 position. Your feet should be flat, forming a 90-degree angle with the floor. The second 90-degree angle comes at your knees, and the third at your hips. Your monitor should be at the proper height to keep you from hunching over to look at it. This simple practice can make a big difference in how you feel at the end of the day!
5. Eat Healthy
Every time you visit that vending machine, pull through that fast food restaurant or pop that TV dinner in the microwave, you’re compounding your problems. Take some time to make yourself a few quality meals each week. If you’re pressed for time during the day, make three or four days’ worth of meals at once and refrigerate or freeze them as necessary.