By Melissa Buscetta, RD, CDN
The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, especially at work, have been discussed among various professionals as the “new smoking.” Our bodies are not designed to sit static on a chair all day long. With a work-around-the-clock mentality, falling into a sedentary lifestyle with minimal movement has become inevitable. Hence overcoming physical idleness is the new challenge most professionals face.
On an average, adults sit for eleven plus hours in a day, but reducing daily “sitting time” by even 1 to 2 hours per day could have a significant and positive impact on overall health and wellness. Many Americans complain that they feel too drained by the end of a workday to do anything they enjoy when they get home. Sitting immobile in front of a computer for long hours is going to multiply that effect.
A desk job shouldn’t mean you have to sit all day. Meetings on the move are the new in thing in the corporate world. Walking meetings allow you to connect with your co-workers and get a breath of fresh air. The change of scenery and increased blood flow are bound to further stimulate creativity and improve communication. It is advisable to take a 1-2 minute break after every hour of working to rejuvenate your mind and focus. It really helps if you work somewhere with a corporate wellness program, but there are things you can do on your own. Here are some tips on how to be healthy at work.
Whether at home or at the office set an alarm on your cell phone to alert you every hour.
As soon as the alarm goes off, complete one or two physical activities for a total of five minutes such as:
- Walking in place, pulling the knees higher toward the belly button
- Using a chair, sit down and stand up repeatedly as many times as you can
- Hula hoop
- Jump rope or pretend
- Make or take calls while standing
- Sun salutations or a series of yoga stretches
- Practice balancing on each leg alternatively, raising legs higher
- Hold on to a counter or your desk and do as many push-ups as you can in 1 minute
- Use a chair to perform triceps dips
- Lunge in place or across the room for 1 minute
- Stand in a squat position with your back against a wall and hold this position for as long as you can
- Stand in place and push up to stand on your tippy toes, then lower back down again and repeat as many times as you can
Melissa Buscetta is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She is very enthusiastic about teaching others how to live a healthier life before and after bariatric surgery.