You wake up early and get ready for work. You are stuck in traffic for 1 hour before arriving at work. You sit all day checking and answering emails, as well as doing other daily tasks. A meeting requires you to move to another conference room. You did some brainstorming and even prepared an urgent presentation or a new client. Finally, it’s lunch! You ordered food and ate lunch at your workstation. Then, the clock hits six, you get back in the car, and drive home. You had your dinner and you either prepare to go to bed, or do some other routines. It was indeed a tiring day, and it’s your usual activity. You ponder on it, and then you realize that living this kind of lifestyle can somehow put your health at risk. Not only that, when not given proper attention, your career will also be affected.
What is a sedentary lifestyle?
A sedentary lifestyle is experienced by a lot of working individuals nowadays. It is becoming a hot item today that sitting too much can pose risks to our overall health. However, there are still individuals who do not know how to handle it.
What is a sedentary life, by the way? It is defined as a type of lifestyle when a person does not receive regular amounts of physical activity. Take, for instance, the people who work as typists, encoders, writers, call center agents, and others. They are obviously spending more hours sitting rather than moving from time to time. But how does not moving regularly take a toll on health? Well, the lack of physical activity is one of the main reasons for the following:
- Your blood is flowing at a slower pace which can lead to coronary heart disease.
- Your body isn’t using as much blood sugar. If you’re not moving for a long time. That can pose a danger as this can cause them to develop health issues such as diabetes.
- If you remain stationary for too long, slow blood circulation can lead to swollen ankles, blood clots, swelling and deep vein thrombosis. It can eventually break free and affect other parts of the body.
- At work, sitting down for a long time can lead you to get issues with focus and concentration. If you keep on living a sedentary lifestyle, less blood is being pumped by the heart. This even slows down the cognitive function of the body.
- Sitting all day can develop back pain (as well as other types of pain in the body).
- Physical inactivity may contribute to anxiety and depression. These can lead to burnout and chronic stress.
- Sitting can decrease skeletal muscle mass.
- High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol level are one or few killers for this lifestyle.
How to prevent a sedentary lifestyle?
There's no doubt a sedentary lifestyle is not good for the body. This can significantly affect the productivity and efficiency levels in the workplace. Therefore, this should be avoided. Here are some tips to prevent your lifestyle from being sedentary:
- Get up and walk around the office, or take a quick stroll outside. Making this habit five times a day is right for your body. You can do it early in the morning or while going to work.
- In the workplace, you can walk to your colleague’s desk instead of sending an electronic message, if there’s something you should tell her. It can be a simple form of exercise, but when done consistently, this can bring a lot of benefits.
- Try to commute once a week via train or bus so you can stand and walk at the same time. Biking can also be a great way to keep moving.
- Park your car a few blocks away from your office so that you can walk one or two blocks from your workplace. It’s another form of exercise to keep you active.
How does a sedentary lifestyle increase over time?
Lack of discipline and indulging ourselves too much on innovations and technologies can be some of the reasons why we become part of a sedentary lifestyle. The more convenient we feel from these modern trends, the bigger the chance of increasing the risks of being sedentary. The good thing is that more and more people are now becoming aware of the risks of too much sitting. Plus, we try to discover and utilize new ideas and tools to lessen or prevent the effects of this kind of lifestyle. Take, for instance, the introduction of standing desks in the workplace.
What is a standing desk?
A standing desk is a desk that an individual uses at work while standing upright. It can be used while writing, drawing, typing, or doing other tasks. It allows the worker to do the job comfortably while standing.
What are the benefits of using a standing desk?
The following are the benefits a standing desk can provide to the workplace:
- It can lower the risk of having weight gain. Simply standing alone can decrease the risk of obesity. While exercising is still the best way to burn calories, choosing to stand is more favourable than sitting. That’s why using a standing desk in the workplace can play a vital role in providing the employees to spend time working while standing instead of sitting for longer hours.
- It can reduce back pain and improve posture. Many office workers complain about back pain as they sit all day. Standing desks reduces back pain as this prevents you from slouching and hunching over. It also improves your overall core strength that helps in the betterment of good posture.
- It helps promote blood circulation. Working while standing does not feel like you are merely working because you can move freely. Simply standing helps in the improvement of your blood vessel, which gives you an extra boost when you feel sleepy.
- It improves your mental health. Standing and walking as a form of exercise can help release endorphins which has a positive impact on your brain. Thus, utilizing standing desks can help improve mental health and keep a positive mood in the working environment.
The best way to get on track
Because of the demanding work and lifestyle, most of us fail to do exercises. However, it is still essential to keep moving. You can always try some basic forms of exercise that you can do anywhere and anytime. Of course, do not forget that the world today offers various innovations that can help us keep our body and mind healthy even at home or in the workplace. Ergonomic equipment such as standing desks should be considered to be part of the workplace because they can offer a lot of benefits.