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HEALTHY LIVING: 6 tips to avoid sitting for long periods at work

HEALTHY LIVING: 6 tips to avoid sitting for long periods at work

Sitting for prolonged periods is known to have negative health effects. Unfortunately, many working adults have office jobs where being sedentary for the majority of the day is unavoidable.

But a few behavioral adjustments can go a long way. 

1. Start your day off on the right foot

Instead of taking the elevator, opt for the stairs.

Not only will the stairs increase your step count for the day, this early morning cardio will also help boost your metabolism.

If you have extra time in the morning, use the stairs as a tool for more comprehensive cardio by going up and down a few times.

Taking the stairs will make you feel energized and ready to tackle the rest of your workday.

2. Pack a lunch

Prepare your lunch for the day, the night before. 

You will have more freedom during lunchtime to get active.

Trade sitting in your car and ordering lunch on-the-go for a pre-made lunch which will give you ample time to enjoy your food and eat mindfully.

Use any extra time you have to take a couple of laps around your building.

3. Get creative

Set a timer on your phone or smartwatch to remind you to get up and move around a few minutes every hour.

Try the caterpillar stretch while standing in place. Reach your arms straight up over head and then reach for your toes.

Touch the ground and slowly walk your hands upward until you’ve reached a plank position. Walk the hands back toward the body and repeat.

The Frankenstein is a dynamic stretch that can be done in limited space. Kick one leg up and swing the opposing arm to meet the toes and the fingertips.

Alternate these movements throughout the day.

4. Pay attention to your posture

Make sure that your computer is at eye-level, so your spine is straight.

Keep your feet flat on the floor and try to avoid crossing your legs. Maintaining proper posture while sitting activates the core and helps with digestion. 

To maintain your posture throughout the day, incorporate sitting exercises that will remind you to engage your muscles and check for imbalances.

5. Try sitting calf raises at your desk

Work your upper body by making a right angle with your arms and slowly reaching overhead. 

This will help to flatten your scapular muscles and bring awareness to any rounding of the shoulders that may have occurred while you were working.

6. Invest in equipment

Simple equipment such as a stability ball can be swapped for a traditional desk chair.

The instability created by sitting on the ball requires you to actively engage your midsection, use your legs for support, and draw your shoulders back.

Standing desks are also a popular alternative to traditional office furniture. 

Just make sure that you also invest in a mat for arch and back support since you will be standing for long periods of time.

If you’re looking to make a more substantial investment, you can purchase an under the desk elliptical or bicycle.