Simply put, life has health impacts. You can be a personal trainer or a customer service phone assistant and you will experience health impacts. A personal trainer may have knee problems from repeated injuries while an office worker will have lower back pain from sitting for most of their day. No one job is better or worse for anyone, our goal is to be aware of what kind of negative effects an office job can have on the body and what strengthening and stretching can ensure you stay healthy, have more energy, and focus.
What is Really Happening to Me?
I will not assume that we all know about our bodies and what our daily lives due to them. Research by the Mayo Clinic of over 1700 adults shows that 6 out of 10 adults spend at least 70% of their time in a sedentary (sitting) state with only 3% of their time in a light to moderately active state. The article presents 2 problems, we sit too much and we are not getting enough exercise.
Sitting has the greatest negative effect on waist circumference. Sitting decreases the body's ability to healthily process fats and increases insulin resistance, which is what is responsible for utilizing sugar before it is stored as fat.
If you are sitting and reading this, I understand if you are beginning to get nervous- have no fear, there are simple ways these effects can be diminished and reversed.
Simple Tips for Your Work Day
Working is a given, sitting is going to happen, but you can do more to keep your body in shape at the office. It is shown that taking breaks from sedentary work has many positive impacts on health. You literally reverse all the negative effects we just listed. Here are 3 simple ways to take breaks in your workday while staying productive:
- Walk instead of sending an email: You're getting a walk in. Herman Miller also published research showing we are more productive with higher amounts of social interaction than screen time.
- Pace and walk around when you're on the phone. Get the blood pumping, body moving and your conversation will probably have a better tone.
- Choose a longer route to the bathroom, break room or to your car. Yes, take the stairs, walk to the farthest bathroom in the office, and take a long route to the break room. These increase physical activity while breaking up the monotony of your routine.
Exercises and Stretches to Add Into Your Life
Warning: I am about to tell you what to do. If you don't like that, I understand, but I do implore you to research exercises and stretching that will work for your life and body- we are all different and that is awesome.
For those that don't mind hearing me tell you what to do, here is the list:
Lunges: Strengthen your hips, thighs, and gluteus.
Pigeon Pose: Stretch and stimulate your hip girdle.*
*This may look hard, focus on the legs first, be gentle with yourself. The backbend will come with practice.
Superman Lifts: Strengthen the lower back for better posture.
Wind Relieving Pose: Decompress the spine and fire up the hips.
Keep Your Body Healthy- No Matter What Job You Have
The truth is, your health is the most important thing you can focus on- physical, emotional, and mental. Be aware that everything we do has good and bad consequences and then take the necessary steps to balance out the bad. If you sit a lot, move more. If you move a lot, chill more.
Make good habits, take care of your body and enjoy your life.
Yours in health,