Your Desk Job Is Slowly Killing You, But There Are Ways To Combat ItBy Your Coffee Break
Apr. 7 2017, Published 3:30 a.m. ET
Worse than unreasonable deadlines and awkward meetings with demanding clients, your office job could actually make you seriously stressed and in the long run, this can harm your health AND well-being.
New reports suggest that sitting can be as bad for you as smoking. And if there is one thing you do in an office job, it’s sit. There have also been studies that link staring at screens to broken sleeping patterns, and workplace stress to death. With these terrifying truths in mind, you ought to do everything you can to stay healthy while working an office job.
Here are our four tips to help you on your way.
If you’re still reeling from that sitting revelation, fear not. You don’t have to quit your job and find work as a walking tour guide to quell the negative effects of the deceptively ubiquitous office chair. Instead, you can do what is known as ‘deskercise’ from your very own seat.
Professional trainer to the stars Jon Denoris recommends deskercise to those looking for easy ways to exercise at work. His chosen deskercises include neck stretches, seated calf raising and stretching the lower back—all of which can be done without leaving your chair.
Serviced office providers i2 Office have also recommend people working in their properties do deskercise to stay healthy at work. They suggest some deskercises to be done away from your chair , such as standing up during phone calls and meetings, or leaning against a wall and bending your legs as you slide down it. Even standing at your desk has proven health benefits, and is a surefire way to avoid the dreaded sitting.
2. Stay Active Out Of Work
You now have several ways to keep active in the office, but you can also make the real difference to your health by fitting as much exercise around your job as you possibly can. With thousands of us working longer than our contracted hours, finding the time to exercise can be difficult.
Luckily, just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help. The most important thing is to make that time count. Low intensity cardio for half an hour can help with weight loss, and 30 minutes of weight training can build muscle. Do this for just a short amount of time and you will be healthier. Even if you can’t fit in 30 minutes, any amount exercise is better than none.
It’s not just about physical health, either. Daily exercise is the best way to combat work-related stress and anxiety, aside from quitting your job to volunteer at a puppy sanctuary.
3. Get Enough Sleep
There are several different sleep myths floating around on the internet, including the oft-repeated stories of famous individuals who get by on barely any sleep, with the suggestion that this is somehow heroic. However, much easier than deskercise or even exercise, getting enough sleep is a proven way to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
A thorough study found that 7-9 hours is the ideal sleep guideline, though some people can be healthy with 6. With more or less sleep than this, you risk diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
If you are worried that getting more sleep will make you less like successful businesspeople of the past, don’t be; Bill Gates, Tim Cook, Arianna Huffington and Jeff Bezos all sleep for 7 hours a day.
4. Watch Your Diet
Snacking in the office sometimes seems like a necessity, but that doesn’t mean you have to snack on high-calorie junk food. Munch on fruit to stave off hunger, or try preparing any of these healthier office snacks.
At lunchtime, it is tempting to buy a premade sandwich from a supermarket, but this is both expensive and damaging to your health, since some of these prepared sandwiches include more calories than burgers. Your best bet is to make a healthy office lunch at home. It may take you more time, but your bank account and your cholesterol level will thank you for it.
A healthy office diet is about more than food; drinking water is equally important. This low budget video from Virgin Pure demonstrates some of the effects dehydration can have on office workers, including loss of energy, irritability and headaches. But how much water should you drink? The ‘eight glasses a day’ maxim is a widely debunked myth. Your best bet is to drink water whenever you are thirsty, instead of constantly resorting to fizzy and/or caffeinated drinks.
Follow these simple tips and you should find yourself feeling healthier and happier in your office job than ever before.