When we look at how long we spend at work throughout our lives, that’s a long time to be sitting at a desk. While most of us know that it’s not good for our bodies to be continually sitting down, recently there have been a variety of studies released which have revealed that sitting down consistently at work can actually shave years off your life.
If you want to avoid this early death, you’ll need to exercise for an hour every single day to make up for the fact that you’ve been sitting in a chair for the majority of your day.
Most people won’t do this, so instead, there are a few different things you can do to ensure that you’re getting enough incidental exercise throughout the day.
While it’s normal to be tired after work, the worst thing you can do is get in your car (where you’re still sitting), go home, and sit on the couch. Instead, head to the gym or outside for quick walk, which will actually help clear your mind, get those endorphins flowing, and energise you.
For those that drive to work each day, you probably already know that this is both bad for your health and the environment. Instead, see if you can walk to a bus or train station, use public transport to get close to your work, and then get off a stop early and spend more time walking and enjoying the fresh air.
There are also a number of ways that you can improve your posture, stretch, and get moving while you’re actually at work. A new social media campaign called #officeyoga was recently launched by Furniture at Work, and they’re using this 5,000 year old practice to help employees spending a large amount of time sitting at work desks to combat some of the most common injuries and sicknesses in the workplace.
If you find that your neck is continually aching, the cat cow stretch is a great option, and will help strengthen and stretch your spine and neck, while also improving your balance and posture. While you’re sitting on your office chair, arch your back, inhale as you push your belly forward, and then work to move your shoulders back as far as possible. That’s cow position.
While exhaling, you’re going to move into the opposite position, rounding your spine, bringing your shoulders forward and looking at the ground. This is cat position. Use five breaths and move between both of these positions to get a great stretch.
The chair Eagle Pose is another great stretch, particularly for those who spend a lot of time typing since it helps loosen shoulders and wrists. Cross your legs, and wrap your left thigh around your right, trying to move your left foot as far around your right calf as possible. Next, bend your elbows, bringing your palms together until they’re touching. Lift your elbows and drop your shoulders nice and far from your ears, before holding for three to five breaths.