How to keep active in the workplace and stop sitting

Having a strong work ethic is an admirable quality, but is it worth damaging your health for?

While you are sitting at your desk working, it’s important to know that you may be slowly harming your overall health. The effects are gradual but they can be very serious.

So, the question is, how do you minimise the negative impacts of sedentary office lifestyle?

Why sitting for too long at work is a health risk

Studies show that prolonged periods of sitting impact the body as well as our mental health and cognitive abilities.

  • It’s known that the risk of developing anxiety and depression is higher for those who sit for extended periods of time.
  • A study from Liverpool John Moores University found that extended periods of sitting limits the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain by reducing blood circulation. This can make it harder to think clearly and focus at work. It can also negatively impact your memory.
  • Sitting negatively impacts musculoskeletal health. Long hours at your desk can put increased stress on ligaments and increase the likeliness of misalignment of bones and joints. Not to mention it significantly increases general soreness and stiffness especially within the lower and mid back regions.
  • A sedentary lifestyle is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and for developing type 2 diabetes.

6 ways to stay active at the office

We know all about the stiffness and soreness which comes from sitting for a long period of time, just think about the last long-haul flight you went on.

The good news is, there are lots of ways to get active within the work day and minimise the amount of time that you spend in a sedentary position. The key is to get moving. The more you can move and the more you can get your blood flowing the better it is for your overall health and wellbeing.

Here are a few of the ways get active throughout the work day:

  1. Take regular breaks
    One of the simplest steps you can take to promote better health at work is to commit to taking regular breaks. The Heart Foundation recommends taking a break every 30 minutes. To get into this habit, and try setting a timer for every half hour. Get up from your desk and get a drink of water, stretch, or walk outside to get some fresh air.
  2. Incorporate desk exercises into your workday
    Do desk exercises throughout the day. There are several exercises you can do whilst sitting at your desk. These movements can help to boost blood flow, take pressure off your spine, and prevent stiffness and poor posture. Here are a few exercises you can try.