Sitting down all day at work may be considered part of the job but it can also play havoc with your health. We're all aware of how important it is to move around during the day, but many of us struggle with fitting exercise into our lifestyle or even finding time to get up from our desks a few times a day.
Worryingly, even if we do manage to work out every day it might not be enough. Studies have shown that, when it comes to poor health, sitting down all day is one of the main culprits and regular exercise won't necessarily offer protection.
The reality is that most of us have to sit down to do our work and a standing desk simply isn't an option. Fret not, here are five of the best ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
This is one of the best ways to get some exercise in, so try and nip out during your lunch break. We should all aim to walk more, around 10,000 steps daily as this will increase the amount of physical activity we do, burn calories and keep us healthy. Walking is convenient as it can be done anywhere, at any time and in any weather – simply find a pathway and walk along it! Walking can also build stamina and may lead to a healthier cardiovascular system.
If you feel chained to your desk for most of the day, then get up and walk to the water cooler, liaise with colleagues over a cup of tea or do anything else that gets you moving and the blood pumping around your body. Staying hydrated is an important part of health as water makes up 60% of our body, so getting up, walking around and drinking plenty of water throughout the day is vital for wellbeing. It's all too easy to forget to get up occasionally, but if we can move around, even if it's just to the window a few times a day, it will reinvigorate your muscles.
Instead of sitting down at your desk to eat at lunchtime, get up and walk outside to your nearest café or if possible, your local park. Take some of your work colleagues with you for company! Getting out of your chair and enjoying some fresh air can refresh and revive you, even if it's just 20 minutes to half an hour spent enjoying the sunshine.
Incorporate some cycling into your work routine by investing in a pedal exerciser that can easily fit beneath your desk. By pedalling for just 10-20 minutes twice a day you can engage in low-impact exercise and receive many cardiovascular benefits.
Try some basic stretching exercises as these can help to improve posture and keep you supple in the long term. Some good stretches include standing straight and then leaning down to touch your toes, reaching from side to side and circling your hips.
I've been worrying about this since i read about how bad sitting is for you. It's not just at work but traveling and in the evening, we all sit down far too much. I for one will be making a conscious effort to move around more.