You might have heard it said that “sitting is the new smoking,” and if you have a desk job, maybe you’re already experiencing some of the negative health effects that can result from long, sedentary days spent hunching over a computer in an office. Tight hips, poor spinal alignment, neck aches, compression in your lower back, sluggishness — these are just a few of the consequences of too much sitting.
Don’t cope by guzzling more coffee or popping more aspirin. There is a better way!
At Kennedy Fitness: A Jefferson Health Affiliate, we’re much more than a fitness center where residents of Camden County come for heart-pumping kickboxing classes. We’re about promoting a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to overall health and well-being. With a few simple adjustments to your daily routine, you can “stand up” to the effects of sitting down.
Start by following these tips!
Get a Standing Desk
Desks that can be elevated to a standing position are becoming more and more common in the modern workplace, and workers who use them can reduce back pain, boost mood and energy levels, and even promote weight loss. If it’s possible for you to work while standing up, try it for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, until you feel comfortable with 30- or 40-minute increments. Standing up at work can take some getting used to, but it’s a great way to stretch out the body and reduce the aches and pains that come with sitting down all day.
Adjust Your Chair
If you can’t arrange for a standing workstation, pay attention to your chair and how you sit in it. Your chair shouldn’t be too low or too high, allowing for your hips to sit higher than your knees and your feet to lie flat on the floor. Your eyes should be on the same level as the upper part of your computer monitor, to prevent too much slouching or drooping of the neck.
If your chair is old, lacks lumbar support or proper padding, request a replacement. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Take Regular Breaks During the Day
Whether you sit or stand at your desk, it’s important to move around during the day as much as possible. Use a portion of your lunch break to go for a walk outside, if possible. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every 45 minutes or hour to remind you to get up and walk around the office a few times. Even if it’s less than five minutes, regular breaks are great for reinvigorating the body and mind.
Stretch it Out
While you’re getting in the routine of taking breaks, why not use that time for some therapeutic stretching? It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. You don’t even need to leave your desk! In this infographic, we’ve outlined a few simple on-the-spot stretches you can do to be kinder to your body at work.
Get a Massage
Integrate regular massages into your health and wellness regimen, and your therapist will be able to locate and work through the tight, misaligned, stressed-out areas of your body that have been most affected by chronic sitting.
Of course, one of the best ways to counteract the effects of sitting at your job is to be more active outside the office. Clearing time in your schedule for regular exercise, either before or after work, will not just improve your fitness and help you maintain a healthy weight. It will help you de-stress and approach your job with more energy and enthusiasm.
When it comes to caring for your body and reversing the damage done by sitting too much, yoga is the ideal solution. Kennedy Fitness offers a variety of yoga classes where residents of Mt. Laurel and the surrounding areas can work on flexibility, posture, balance, and mindfulness all in a friendly, relaxing environment.
To try one of our yoga classes or any of our other mind-and-body programs, feel free to get up out of that chair and visit us in any of our locations. Or, simply give us a call today to inquire about membership.