Tens of millions of Americans work at a desk or in front of a computer for 40 or more hours each week, and while it may not seem like very labor intensive work, sitting for extended periods can have a significant effect on your health. If you’re inactive at work, you need to prioritize movement and activity when you’re not on the clock so that your body can continue to get stronger and avoid some of the problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. In today’s blog, we share some tips for staying physically active if you work a desk job.
Staying Active If You Work A Sedentary Job
Here are some simple ways to incorporate more activity into your life if you work a job that keeps you in a seated position for long periods.
- Prioritize Exercise Off The Clock – If you are inactive when you’re on the clock, you’ll want to make sure you give your body the activity it craves when you’re not working. If you go from a sedentary job to hours on the couch at home, muscles will weaken, structures will destabilize and soft tissues can degenerate at a faster rate. Make sure that you counter inactivity with at least 30-45 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least 4-5 times a week.
- Improve Your Posture – Sitting for longer periods of time will take an even bigger toll on your spine if you have poor posture. When we’re slouched or hunched forward, extra strain gets placed on the lumbar or cervical portions of our spines. This can lead to earlier onset of degenerative disc disease or put you at an increased risk of bulging or herniated discs. Conduct regular posture checks when you’re seated and strive to have your head positioned directly above your shoulders so that stress is dispersed evenly across your spine.
- Incorporate Movement At Work – Get creative and find ways to move more when you’re on the clock. Even just a short burst of movement can take static stress off your spine and improve your circulation, which is great for your whole body. Take the conference call while standing up, go for a walk during your afternoon break, take the stairs instead of the elevator or invest in a sit-to-stand workstation so that you can break up long periods of sitting or standing by adjusting your desk. Find little ways to move more when you’re working.
- Treat Small Problems – If you are dealing with a new pain or uncomfortable symptoms, don’t just ignore the pain and hope it eventually gets better. Pain and discomfort can make it harder for you to complete a workout or stay active, which can make it even harder to overcome our physical condition. Stop small problems before they snowball into major pain. Effectively treating injuries or underlying conditions can help to keep you active.
- Get A Healthy Amount Of Sleep – Restful sleep is what recharges our batteries and makes it easier for us to attack the day and stay physically active. If you’re not getting healthy sleep, you might start to prioritize a nap instead of a workout, or you may simply lack the energy and motivation to get the activity that your body needs. Work to develop a healthy sleep routine where you regularly get at least seven consecutive hours of sleep, and you’ll find it easier to get out of bed in the morning and challenge your body with exercise and activity.
If you need help finding an exercise routine that works for you, or you just want help overcoming a previous injury that is affecting your ability to stay as active as you’d like, connect with the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.
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