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If you are reading this, it means you are wondering how to better combine your well-being and achieve professional goals. The body of an office worker, like you, is not used to the rigors of physical labor all day long. However, if you don’t mind a few sacrifices, it’s possible to stay healthy in your environment.
The sedentary lifestyle of many professionals is a growing concern for health experts. But even if we sit and work on our computers and phones all day, we can still make changes that improve our well-being. Need help getting started? Check out these suggestions below:
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One of the most important things you can do for your health is make sure you eat and feed yourself regularly, but this is easier said than done as many people eat at their computers and do other activities while eating. Here are a few suggestions:
Avoid eating junk food while you are at work.
Eat a balanced meal with protein and complex carbohydrates, such as an omelet or soup and whole wheat bread, to stay energized throughout the day.
Walk through the office
Get up every hour and walk around for at least five minutes.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or, if available, use a stairclimber during lunch breaks (try not to fall down).
Provide a water bottle that you have to stand upright to fill with water. This gives you more options to drink more water throughout the day and also encourages walking, as it’s less convenient than being able to fill your coffee mug without getting up from your desk!
Customize your workspace
Ask an ergonomics professional to evaluate your workspace. Just know that customizing your workspace is an important first step in improving your health. There are many ways to do this, but here are some of the most common:
Adjust seat height and backrest: If you’re sitting at a desk, try adjusting the height of the chair so that it supports the natural curve of your lower back. Your feet should be flat on the floor with the knees at a 90-degree angle when you sit upright in your chair. You can also look into ergonomic chairs, which can help align your spine while working or relaxing after work.
Adjust computer monitor: If you use a computer screen for an extended period of time (more than two hours), adjust the height so that it faces slightly down toward eye level when you stand up — not too high or too low. It’s also important to rotate screens vertically once an hour if possible; this helps reduce eye strain by constantly focusing in one spot from side to side and movements from top to bottom, which over time can contribute to poor posture due to muscle fatigue caused by overuse.
Adjust desk: Try to adjust where items such as drawers are within reachable distance for easy access during breaks on shifts, as being able to move often helps prevent stiffness from developing throughout the days when you are seated repeatedly performing similar tasks with no movement breaks in between (for example, e writing emails).
Practice deep breathing
Breathing is a natural process that keeps us alive and functioning, but many people do not breathe properly due to stress, anxiety or bad habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco. It’s also easy to forget how to breathe properly if you’re not focused on it all the time!
To start with breathing exercises:
Breathe in through your nose for five seconds.
Hold for two seconds.
Exhale through your mouth for an eight-second count.
Related: 5 Easy Ways to Workout in the Office
Meditation is a great way to relax and relieve stress, improve your mental health, improve your physical health and relationships, and even improve your work. Here are some tips to meditate effectively:
Find a comfortable sitting position for a short meditation break. You can sit upright with both feet on the floor or on a pillow cross-legged on the floor. In any case, make sure you are comfortable enough to concentrate without having to adjust yourself during the meditation.
Observe what you think about during each mediation session – you may have thoughts about work or other tasks you need to accomplish later in the day; just let these pass without judging them as good or bad. You will probably find that after a few meditation sessions (it is best if this is done daily), these thoughts no longer bother you, as they no longer have as much meaning in your life.
Take regular breaks throughout the day.
There are many ways to take a break during the day to get away from your desk. You can walk to the bathroom, or you can walk to the kitchen, or you can walk to the printer. You can also take a short break to get coffee or water from your office coffee machine or water fountain. Even better, get some sun and vitamin D by getting a breath of fresh air while you walk around the block. If you’re able, check into a treadmill desk or head to the wellness center for a short break on the treadmill.
Use reminder alarms to encourage stretching every hour or two
Use reminder alarms on your smart device to encourage you to stretch every hour or two.
When the alarm goes off, stop what you’re doing and stretch. You can choose a different piece each time.
Pay attention to pain as it builds up during a stretch. If the pain becomes too great, stop stretching immediately! Pain is a warning sign that something is wrong, so if you experience pain while exercising, take it seriously. Pain can be a symptom of an underlying condition or even a serious problem that requires medical attention. This is especially true if the pain gets worse over time or interferes with your daily life.
Related: 6 Benefits Of Detaching Yourself From Your Desk To Take A Break Outside
A sedentary lifestyle can be harmful to your health, but small changes can make a big difference. Sitting for too long can lead to weight gain, back pain and slack, and it can also harm circulation, stress levels and muscle tone. Experts also suspect that sitting too long may increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
If you’re a sedentary professional, avoiding the physical effects of a sedentary lifestyle isn’t as difficult as you might think. The key is to start small and build up your routine overtime until it becomes second nature. If you want to be more active, start with short walks around your office or during the day. You could also try getting up from your desk at least once an hour and doing some stretching or deep breathing exercises to improve circulation and relieve stress. If your workplace has a team that champions culture and organizes wellness challenges, sign up and get involved. It may seem difficult to find a few hours in your busy schedule to exercise every day. However, if you are committed to your health, it is essential to make some changes.