5 Ways to Sit Less at Work

Posted: Feb 13 in Lifestyle by

Sitting in the same position for prolonged periods of time could be setting you up for serious health issues. Research is starting to show that prolonged sitting can raise your risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This should send a clear message to sedentary desk workers that you need to find ways to move more often during the work day. Read on to find out about five ways you can sit less at work and avoid these negative health consequences.

Walk While You Brainstorm or Solve Problems

A great way to sit less during the work day is to walk around your office whenever you’re thinking of ideas or trying to solve problems. If all you’re doing is thinking, you’re usually not using a computer or office equipment. This means you’re not tied to your desk, which makes it the perfect time to get up and move around. Make sure to carry a hardcover notepad or a clipboard and paper with you so you can write down ideas as they come to you. An added bonus is the fact that some people find that walking while thinking helps them come up with better ideas. If it is not possible to walk around your office, you can stand at your desk and move around. Try marching in place or stepping side to side while rolling your shoulders.

Get a Sit-Stand Desk and Use It Properly

A sit-stand desk allows you alternate between sitting and standing while doing your work. While some of them are entire desks that move up and down and can be expensive, there are also affordable units that sit on top of your existing desk. A big mistake many people make with these desks is to eliminate sitting altogether. The reason why this is a mistake is because prolonged standing is not great for your health either. You want to avoid holding any static position for a long period of time, so the best way to use these desks is to alternate between sitting and standing frequently. Switching every 30 minutes is a good goal to shoot for.

Many people also find that standing while working is harder than they thought it would be. One reason why it can be hard to stand at work is because you’re not used to it. You need to start slow by standing for short periods while you build up the endurance and strength to maintain the position. Over time as you get used to it, you will be able to stand for longer periods. Once you are used to standing, you can get even more movement by trying simple things like marching in place or stepping side to side while standing.

Have Walking Meetings and Phone Calls

When you need to discuss something with a colleague, have a meeting or talk to someone on the phone, take advantage of that opportunity to walk instead of sitting while doing it. Using a wireless headset when you’re talking on the phone will free you up to walk or do simple stretches while standing at your desk. You would also be surprised at how many of your colleagues would be open to having a walking meeting. Since they’re also stuck sitting at their desk all day, they will likely jump at the chance to get away from it. If they’re not interested, letting them know how sitting for prolonged periods can affect their health might help get them on board.

Take a Walk on Your Lunch Break

While it’s important to get as much movement as possible throughout the entire day, taking a walk on your lunch break will give your body and your mind a longer break from sitting. It may seem like you don’t have enough time to make it worth it, but even a five minute walk around your office is better than nothing. If you want to get even more movement and have the time, look for a nearby gym where you can do a quick workout. You can also look for ways to workout at the office such as going up and down flights of stairs or doing a quick stretching routine.

Ask Your Boss to Implement a Workplace Wellness Program

Many companies are starting to implement workplace wellness programs because they recognize the value in making sure their employees are happy and healthy. These programs often include amenities that help minimize the amount of time you’re sitting, such as providing short stretching sessions during work hours, a workout room in the office and funding for sit-stand desks. It doesn’t hurt to ask your company if they are willing to start a wellness program. There is research available on the benefits of these programs that can help you convince employers that it’s a valuable move to make.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to sit less at work and taking advantage of them will help you protect your health. These are just a few tips to get you started and show you that it is possible to move more at work. If you keep thinking about and looking for opportunities to move more, you will start to come up with your own unique ways of sitting less.

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