Children are known for their extremely vigorous lifestyles. They tend to be active throughout the entire day and only rest for a handful of minutes when absolutely necessary. This is one of the reasons why punishments will often involve remaining seated in the same position for extended periods of time.
However, things begin to change once schooling starts. Students will remain seated in rather awkward positions in uncomfortable chairs for between six and eight hours each day. The irony is that such an unhealthy lifestyle is likely to continue well into adulthood due to the fact that the majority of jobs are associated with sedentary positions.
Unsurprisingly, there are several potentially serious risk factors. Improper seating habits can lead to a calcification of the bones, spinal abnormalities and pain within the joints. Furthermore, potentially fatal circulatory issues such as deep vein thrombosis are more likely to occur when remaining seated for extended periods of time. Other serious concerns include (but are not limited to):
- Problems with the kidneys.
- An enlarged heart.
- Blood clots that could lead to embolisms.
- Obesity-related issues such as type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure and dangerous levels of cholesterol.
- Long-term damage to the liver and the cardiovascular system.
Let’s also keep in mind that current COVID-19 restrictions could cause an even more sedentary lifestyle. This is why we need to take the dangers outlined above quite seriously. The good news is that there are a number of steps which can be taken in order to maintain a healthy at-work lifestyle. Let’s look at ten sure-fire suggestions.
1. Take advantage of the opportunity to move around while at work. Stand up when taking a phone call or participating in a remote conference. As opposed to speaking with a colleague via email, make it a point to physically meet in person.
2. Practice breathing through your abdomen with a closed mouth. While challenging at first, this is an excellent way to obtain more oxygen and to strengthen your core muscles over time. This habit will also help the body to eliminate stress-related hormones while increasing concentration.
3. Be sure to monitor your posture throughout the day in order to detect any problems. If possible, purchase a fitness ball as opposed to remaining seated in a standard office chair.
4. Incorporate stretching exercising into your daily routine. Even a few short sessions will help to boost your circulation and increase your flexibility. More importantly, stretching energises the body and provides you with a much-needed source of energy.
5. Always keep moving. Start off by exercises three times each week. Light jogging, yoga, swimming, or dancing are a handful of examples. The main point is to choose an activity which you enjoy.
6. Cut down on the amount of time remaining seated during your lunch break. Instead, use five or ten minutes to take a walk around the block. This is a great way to avoid the post-lunch energy “blues”.
7. Participate in group exercises classes. These social meetings are great ways to stay motivated and you might even make a few friends along the way!
8. Never underestimate the power of sleep. Obtaining between seven and eight hours of sleep each night will enjoy higher levels of energy throughout the day. Sleeping also helps to boost the immune system, to reduce stress-related hormones and to decompress the spinal column. If you have issues such as snoring or insomnia, be sure to consult with a specialist.
9. Make it a point to walk for ten or fifteen minutes every evening after work. Not only is this an emotionally decompressing experience, but it helps you to burn extra calories and to improve the circulation to your extremities.
10. As always, embrace a healthy diet and consume a minimum of three litres of water each day (you can read more about water in relation to your bodyweight here).
We can therefore see that it is actually quite easy to remain happy and healthy thanks to a handful of simple steps.