Millions of people work in professions that require them to sit at desks or around conference tables for several hours a day. Many health hazards are related to prolonged sitting – so how do we stay active in the workplace?
Long periods of sitting have been related to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of death from heart disease and cancer, according to research. Excessive sitting can also decrease metabolism, affecting the body’s capacity to control blood pressure, blood sugar, and break down body fat.
Incorporating physical activity into your workday may help to mitigate some of the health hazards associated with sedentary behavior.
According to one study, performing 30 minutes of action five days a week — whether it’s going to the gym, cycling to work, or going for a lunchtime walk — could avert one in every twelve fatalities worldwide.
Being physically healthy can help protect against some of the negative effects of work stress. Stress can cause poor mental health, depressive symptoms, and high blood pressure, all of which can lead to missed work. Finding opportunities to stay active when working at a desk for 7–10 hours per day can be difficult.
Depending on the location of your job and how far you commute from home, experiment with different modes of transportation to and from work. Keep the automobile at home; instead, cycle or walk.
Cycling to work has proven to be more cost-effective than driving or taking public transportation, with a lower chance of death from any cause and a lower risk of cancer.
Cycling and walking to work have also been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, people who walk or cycle to work had a lower BMI and body fat percentage in midlife than those who drive.
Those who actively commute to work on foot or by bike benefit from enhanced well-being and report being able to concentrate better and having less strain than those who drive to work.
According to recent research, most people drive to work rather than walk or bike because they are concerned about the extra time that walking or cycling will take. When asked to estimate the time it would take to walk or cycle to a popular place, however, the majority of participants were inaccurate and overestimated.
If you want to lose weight but don’t have the time or interest to visit a fitness center on a regular basis, a morning bike to work could be just what you need.
Standing up every now and then at work could help reduce the health dangers associated with prolonged sitting.
Researchers feel that including standing and walking activities into the workday may be more manageable for employees than targeted exercise.
Work-related standing behaviors that are recommended include:
Standing or mild activity for 2-4 hours during work hours for desk-based employees;
Utilizing sit-stand desks or standing workstations on a frequent basis to break up sitting-based work;
avoiding prolonged static standing, which can be just as hazardous as sitting for an extended period of time;
Change your position periodically to avoid musculoskeletal pain and fatigue.
As more proof of their benefits becomes available, more companies are adopting the use of sit-stand desks.
Moving more may seem like an obvious activity to incorporate when attempting to be less sedentary, but when immersed in a difficult job, several hours can pass with little trace of movement.
According to studies, every extra hour of sitting above 5 hours increases waist size by 2 millimeters and the risk of cardiovascular disease by 0.2 percent.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, rises, while HDL, or “good” cholesterol falls.
One study found that when asked about their actual and intended levels of sitting, desk-based employees wanted to spend less time sitting and more time conducting physical activity during the workday.
Even when you’re seated, you don’t have to be completely still; squirming in your seat might make all the difference.