I don’t mind sitting at a desk, generally speaking. But when the sun comes out, or it’s Friday, I start to get really antsy.
Also knowing that I am sitting down or sleeping for the majority of my day is kind of a bummer. And if you have a fitness tracker, then you’re screwed because it’s constantly telling you to get off your ass. But you’re like “I’m in a meeting, I can’t.” And ARGH. It’s frustrating.
I decided to put together some tips that may help you deal with being a desk worker, and can help you get more activity throughout the day. Because, let’s be real, we probably all need to be much more active throughout the day.
Try to adopt at least one or two of these a day to make life at a desk a lot less degrading on your health and wellbeing.
I know. The people who do this are usually super annoying, right? But a stand up desk is really beneficial for your health. If you get a desk that can transform from sitting and standing, this is amazing and can really help you feel a lot less restless throughout the day. So you wouldn’t need to stand all day long if you didn’t want to.
It’s a hard thing to accomplish unless you work for a company that’s willing to shell out some money for versatile desk (which they should in my opinion). So it’s completely understandable if this just isn’t an option.
Now this is an option for everyone. Even if you’re insanely busy. Learn to take the time for a mini walk, even if it’s to fill up your water bottle or go to the toilet. It’s something. And you need to break you day a little bit.
I’ve been in a job that would have back to back meetings from the moment I walked in until lunch time (and sometimes even during lunch time). And most of them, I would have to run myself. So believe me, I get it. But if you take 3 minutes to go to the toilet and tell people that’s why you’re late, more often than not, they’ll be understanding about it. And if they’re not, then it sounds like you work with assholes and in that case, well, that’s your decision to stay there.
My Fitbit vibrates at ten to the hour every hour to tell me how many steps I have left to take. I am supposed to take 250 steps an hour so if I don’t complete that, it’ll remind me with 10 minutes left. It’s a great feature, and sometimes annoying. But if you get serious about your health, it can be very constructive. If you don’t have a fitness tracker, set a reminder on your phone to move every so often.
Lunch Time Walks
As it’s cold and gross outside, I haven’t done this for awhile, but back in the summer, I would eat lunch at my desk in about 10 minutes. And then I would go outside and walk across the street to a park and walk around for 30 minutes while listening to a podcast. I loved it. If I was having a particularly rough day, I would sit on a bench and meditate in the sunshine and it would help me get back to the office with a much clearer mindset.
At the end of the day, I would walk over to the building that D works in around the corner. It’s about a 20 minute walk and helped to get my cardio in for the day so during my workout, I’d just focus on HIIT or resistance training.
I actually miss both of these a lot and can’t wait for the weather to get warmer so I can go for more walks. It truly improves my mood for the rest of the day. I need to get back into this habit.
Use Better Posture
This is one of the worst things about sitting at a desk all day – you develop terrible posture. The best way to combat this is to make sure your desk and chair is at the right height for your body along with your keyboard and monitor, and that you are sitting up straight when working and typing.
It’s easy to find yourself relax in the chair and become hunched over, especially when you’re in terribly boring meetings – believe me, I’ve been there. But try to be more conscious of your posture and straighten up when you remember to do so.
If you need help, click here for a link to good posture when in the office.
I worked in a cubicle by myself in the first job I had and there weren’t many people around, so every once in awhile I would do some chair yoga moves because I knew no one was watching.
In the last few positions I’ve had, I’m much more out in the open so it is difficult. However, if you find yourself absolutely needing to stretch, maybe finding a conference room you can go in for 10 minutes a day or just doing some movement under your desk is better than nothing.
Or you can just not care about what people think and do some yoga in your chair in front of everyone. I mean you could get your entire office to do it with you. #teamspirit
I understand some of you may not be thrilled at the idea of working out in the morning before work. However, I find that when I do, I am much more active and willing to get up more throughout the day. It actually motivates me to be more conscious of my movement.
When I work out after work, I have the mentality that “I’ll get my workout in later, so what’s the point of moving now?” I definitely feel lazier throughout the day and very rarely ever make it to my workout in the afternoon anyway.
I’m just not a PM exerciser, so I understand if you’re just not an AM exerciser. I used to go every day after school in high school and so I used to prefer afternoon workouts, but the older I get the more I’m finding myself to prefer mornings no matter how much I don’t want to admit that.
Hope some of these tips can help you out when you find your back is hurting after a long day at work, or your steps for the day are at an all time low (me right now). Just picking up a few of these habits can help you feel better throughout the day and not cause horrible injuries later on in life.
What do you do to improve your health as a desk worker? Comment below!