From students to workers, many of us spend a lot of our days sitting. Too much sitting can have a really negative impact on our bodies. In fact, researchers referred to sitting as the new smoking. Our bodies were meant to MOVE (we have muscles! And joints!) and I am sure that, like me, sitting at a desk can make you feel restless. Here are five tips to give your body need a needed break from that sitting situation.
- Ask for a standing desk.
Working at a computer all day, I always find myself getting antsy at my desk. I was never good at sitting still (just ask my friends how fast I walk!). However, many places of employment will offer the option to install a standing desk or even a treadmill desk to get you moving. Ask your HR representative if that is a possibility. You might be surprised about the opportunities available to install these “extras”. If you work from home or are a student, you can also easily build your own standing desk or treadmill desk with a few easy tutorials. If you are unable to get a standing desk, use a stabilization ball to sit on while you work at your computer. The unstable surface will activate your back and core muscles. Every little bit counts!
- Do a quick “run around the blog”
When I sit all day, I find I get “brain fog” and just cannot focus on what I’m working on. If I choose to try and continue working, I find I am less productive with my time and end up dawdling towards that siren song that is Facebook (am I right?) When this happens, I make an effort to get moving. Jumping jacks, squats, or even a brisk walk around the hallways usually does the trick. By the time I get back, I find I am more focused and can get more work done.
3: Make an excuse for a snack break
As part of my weekly meal prep, I usually plan out my own snacks to bring to work . However, sometimes, the best way to get yourself moving is “forgetting”. I will pack a single serve package of nut butter with the intention of going to my local coffee shop to get a piece of fruit to go along with it. Take a friend with you to make it part of your social time. Stepping away from your desk, along with the extra nutrition, will help boost your productivity while also getting some fresh air.
- Make movement part of your intention
My office is on the 2nd floor of a 7 floored building. If I have a meeting with someone on another floor, I choose to take the stairs (instead of an escalator or elevator). While this seems like a small step, doing this many times throughout the day really adds up! Sometimes, I will take the steps two at a time, really engaging my quads so I can build a workout into my day.
- Do some walking AFTER work
After work, I am ALWAYS exhausted. It is so funny to me that we can sit all day, but still feel physicially and mentally drained. Next time you feel this way, try to make an effort after work, either when you get home or after dinner, to take a walk. Taking time away from my screen and moving your muscles refreshes me to tackle projects in the evening. Bonus points if you are lucky like me and have the opportunity to walk home from work.