Staying healthy at your desk

Learn how to energize the body while your brain works so hard

| 16 Jan 2023 | 10:58

Sedentary lifestyles can lead to a variety of worrisome health outcomes, including diabetes, mobility issues and obesity.

Sometimes, your busy work schedule plays a role. We can become so engrossed in what we do at our workstations that we never get up and move around. Some are so busy that they don’t even leave for lunch, eating right at their desks.

Break the cycle by getting healthier while you work. Bring a few coworkers along as you make these important lifestyle changes. Like other office projects, it’ll be easier if you work together as a team.

Know the risks

Desk jobs, jobs where we remain seated, and other positions that require us to remain at a workstation keep us from moving around on a regular basis. Even those who hit the gym a few times a week still find themselves in a static position for hours on end. That can tip the balance, even with a committed exercise routine. Then there are those who are so committed to work that they don’t feel they have the time for anything else other than rushing home.

Unfortunately, those who sit for lengthy periods of time are at greater risk for bone, joint and posture problems. Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are some of the conditions associated with sedentary lifestyles. Lower energy levels can hamper mental alertness, directly impacting your work.

Get Moving

Beginners may find that developing a solid plan involves weeks or months as you slowly incorporate more and more physical activity into your routine. In some cases, you may have to get very creative in order to incorporate regular movement into your busy schedule. Start by adding “passive” exercise into your work life: Park further away from the building or, if possible, bike or walk to work. Take the stairs, rather than hopping on the elevator. Get up and walk over to a coworkers desk to discuss a project instead of simply emailing.

These small changes can have a big health impact – and you’ll be building endurance and strength. Next, incorporate regular exercise time, at home or at the gym. This may need to be immediately before or after work hours — or later in the evening, after other obligations at home have been dealt with. Some people even convert a portion of their lunch break.