Many of us these days are working in sedentary jobs in offices. Physiologically, we are not well adapted to sit as much as this. Historically, we spent a large amount of time running or walking in order to find food, water and shelter.
It is becoming evident that too much sitting can often be responsible for causing lots of health problems. Because sitting for long periods keeps us too static, the heart has to work harder to move blood upwards against gravity. Sedentary jobs also mean that not enough exercise is taken to burn off calories taken in, resulting in weight gain.
Additionally, poor posture can lead to stress in the upper back and shoulders which is often compounded by the psychological stress caused by a demanding workload.
Many chronic conditions can result from such a lifestyle. These can be serious issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, leg based vascular problems, including varicose veins.
With that in mind, here are some top tips to avoid these problems at work:
- Have your workspace area checked that it is set up correctly for you, bearing in mind your height and the amount of repetitive actions you might do during a typical day. I can help you with this!
- Incorporate at least one session of cardiovascular exercise into your week – the less movement you do, the more prone to problems you will be
- Get off the bus one stop earlier or take a 20 minute walk at lunchtime – walk, eat, walk back. Daily spinal movement is important
- Take regular breaks, stand up, stretch and walk around to improve blood flow and movement in your back
- Learn to relax! Stress plays a huge role in our perceptions of pain
Research has shows that even exercising on weekends doesn’t totally compensate for the lack of movement through the day. I’ve developed a little summary of my 23 favourite movements that you can do at your desk or to and from the workplace – to keep yourself limber, mobile, and in less pain. Leave a comment and I’ll send it to you!