We live in a time with an ever-increasing number of computer-based jobs. Most of us spend 8-12 hours a day at a desk, in front of a screen. You probably think as long as you are getting your daily 30 minutes of exercise you don’t need to worry about how long you are sitting at work. Well, you are very wrong. It is vital that you take more breaks from your chair and burn more calories at work.
New studies are finding that even with daily exercise, a sedentary job could be taking years off your life. The longer you spend sitting, the greater your risk of chronic conditions, like Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. The Women’s Health Initiative published a study in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine to determine the relationship between Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women. The study found that after 12 years, the women observed who had a more sedentary lifestyle were at an increased risk for an untimely death due to cancer, diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.
So, what do you do? It is kind of hard to avoid sitting at your desk when that is your whole job. Well, here are some ways we have found to help you burn more calories at work:
There are now a variety of options for standing desks. You can get adjustable height platforms for your computer and keyboard, so you can sit or stand throughout the day.
If changing your desk to stand-up is not an option, you can try standing every time you answer your phone.
Take a walk
Get a pedometer to track your daily steps. This will make you more mindful and help you get motivated to move around. Try to get at least 10,000 steps a day. So, instead of instant messaging or calling coworkers, walk over to their desk and take a brisk lap around the office while you’re up.
Take the stairs
If you work in a building with multiple levels, add to your steps by taking the stairs throughout the day instead of the elevator. Get your heart rate up by running up and down a few floors.
Set a timer to remind you to get up every 30 minutes. When the alarm goes off, get up and do lunges, calf raises, or jumping jacks.
Spend some time at your desk balancing on an inflatable stability ball. This will help your posture and your core, while burning a few extra calories.