Being chained to a desk most days makes staying in shape tough, but by being proactive about exercise, you can keep both your career and your health on track. Neglecting this important consideration will cause your physical condition to deteriorate while you're trying to climb the ladder to success. Don’t get to the top only to find you're in no condition to enjoy it. Start today with these four tips for staying fit and healthy at your desk job.
Get Up and Move Every Hour
To enhance your productivity and fitness, get up and move every hour. Research shows that even gentle exercise improves blood flow to the muscles and brain, giving you both a physical and mental boost. Regular movement also prevents the consequences of sitting too long. Back, neck and leg pain are among the most common complaints, but if you spend too long sitting in the same position, you can even give yourself pressure sores.
Watch Your Posture
Poor posture and positioning at your desk are top contributors to muscle stress in the upper back and shoulders. To prevent the forward slumping that causes neck discomfort, spine specialists recommend sitting with your back against your chair and your feet firmly on the floor. Computer monitors should be ergonomically positioned directly in front of you with the center of the screen at nose level to keep your head in a neutral position. The longer you sit, the harder it is to maintain an erect posture. If it’s too much of a struggle, consider using a standing desk.
Exercise at Your Desk
On days when the phone won’t stop ringing long enough for a quick walk outdoors, do the next best thing and exercise at your desk. Today’s generation of under-the-desk exercise devices are perfect for keeping legs limber, and they also offer a real workout. For the diehard fitness enthusiast, office chairs are now available equipped with an exercise bike or an elliptical built in.
Get the Whole Office Involved
Nothing encourages fitness more than support from coworkers who share the same fitness goals. Plan an outdoor walk together at lunch instead of a greasy sit-down meal, or make fitness a company-wide event by pitching a workplace wellness program to your boss. Healthier employees benefit a business’s bottom line, reducing absenteeism, and even lowering health insurance costs in some cases.
Staying fit at a desk job isn’t impossible, but it takes consistent effort. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll feel the difference in no time. After all, you owe it to yourself to make your body feel the best that it can be.