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Spending significant portions of the day sitting down can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. The consequences can include neck and back pain, poor posture, and a variety of long-term health issues that stem from inactivity. However, with desk jobs, it can often feel like there’s no escape. The vast majority of Americans work sedentary jobs. We’ve provided four ways to stay healthy at a desk job in your office or home. Implementing these four habits will lead to less pain and better health long term while working a desk job.
Use a standing desk
An adjustable standing desk will solve many of the issues that come from working a desk job. Your posture will get better, you’ll burn more calories than spending the day sitting down, and your circulation will improve. There are a large variety of these kinds of desks available that can provide tremendous health benefits to your daily life.
Switching from spending your entire day in a chair to standing up can be a difficult adjustment. It’s recommended to start using an adjustable desk by standing for intervals of time. Start off by standing for a short period of time and aim to improve the length of time you stand each day. Slowly add more standing intervals as you get used to the time spent on your feet. Eventually, you’ll reach a ratio of standing to sitting that leaves you feeling more energized and healthy.
Stretch and practice good posture
Even while sitting for long periods, working to improve your posture will reduce back and neck pain. Paying close attention to your posture can also release the tension from a long day at a desk in your upper back, neck, and shoulders. To improve your posture, sit up straight while in your chair at work. Aim to keep your shoulders pushed slightly back and your chest out. This may feel difficult at first, but you’ll adjust quickly.
Doing stretches and strengthening your core regularly will also help you stay healthy at a desk job and make it easier to sit up straight. In the morning or during your lunch break, take a few minutes to do a child’s pose, a forward fold, or even a plank exercise. Strengthening your core and loosening up your back will make it easier to maintain good posture for a long period of time.
Be active during your lunch break
Your lunch break is a great time to move physically and get in the steps that you missed from a morning spent sitting. Pack a bagged lunch, put in a pair of headphones, and go for a stroll. It may feel insignificant, but these extra steps will add up over a long period of time in terms of calories burnt and improving your circulation.
Going for a walk outside could also help improve your mood. Studies have shown that getting outside helps lower your cortisol levels, which is a hormone that is related to stress. When you go outside, you’ll also be able to soak in vitamin D from the sun, which is necessary for strengthening your immune system, helping bone growth, and fighting depression. Being physically active and going outside during your lunch break can help you stay healthy in the long run.
Drink lots of water
On a stressful, busy day, it can be easy to neglect drinking water. Getting absorbed in work can lead to long periods of time without hydrating yourself. Make it a habit to avoid this mistake. It is recommended that men drink 3.7 liters of water per day and women drink 2.7 liters per day.
Fill your water bottle up before work and keep it with you throughout the day. At the beginning, track how much water you consume and ensure you are meeting your goals. Being more hydrated will boost your energy levels, ease any headaches, and contribute to a much healthier lifestyle while working from a desk.
Staying healthy while working
Following these tips on a consistent basis will negate many of the health issues that arise from working a desk job. However, if you sit at a desk all day and you have persisting back and neck pain, you should consider seeking professional treatment. A chiropractor can create a plan suited to your needs and further ease your pain. Accident Treatment Centers provide professionals who can craft a unique plan to alleviate any back and neck pain to help you recover quickly and feel better again while working at your desk job.
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