Ditch your chair and stay fit!

Woman at desk

Sitting on a chair at a stretch for long hours can be fatal. Wondering why I’m saying so? Well, recent research has revealed facts that people with moving job profile are healthier than those who sit and work for longer duration of time. If I go back to the 1940s, a Scottish epidemiologist first came to the conclusion that bus conductors are lesser prone to heart related diseases than the drivers. It has also been found that marketing professionals who are required to do more outdoors than sitting back at office have been found with lesser chances of diabetes and high pressure. These days most of us are chained to our desks, be it in the form of business or office. A recent study has highlighted that time to time movement can trigger up to 12 percent increase in overall productivity in one’s work schedule.

So what’s it all about?

Try to do some walking while working. Sounds funny? Not, if you keep health as your prerogative. Studies have also shown that sitting for a considerable amount of time can cause incurable diseases. So, the next time you work at a stretch for an hour, make sure you do leave your desk and do some walking within the office floor. If you are really neck deep into work or have a deadline or urgency to meet, consider some chair exercises. Do some shoulder or neck and hand exercise while sitting. Let us see how movements at work place can benefit an individual in acquiring a healthier lifestyle:

  • The more you move and walk the more inspired and creative you become. That doesn’t mean I’m telling you to become a peeping tom or a non serious kind of person. It has been found that people who take occasional strolls provide more effective and innovative ideas to the team than those remain stuck in a chair for the whole day.

walking-meetings

  • Also, sporadic movements enhance one’s memory and alertness. If you stagnate yourself in a position for hours, it hampers your attention and focus. So, the moment you feel lazy, get moving!
  • If your office is at a walkable distance from your place, avoid using car or other public transport to reach. Walk the distance instead.
  • Also do not slouch while sitting in your office chair. Try to keep your posture correct.
  • Work pressure at times can stop your gym going or working out at home. But if you occasionally keep yourself moving while working, your exercise deficit gets fulfilled. You get almost the same benefit as visiting a gym.
  • If you need to talk to your boss or co-worker who is in some other floor of the office, avoid using phone or online chat all the time. Walk to the floor to have your discussion or clear confusion. Remember, walking stimulates your thought process.
  • Walking alone might look weird but if you get to create a conscious group of colleagues walking few minutes every day, it becomes a healthy practice for better productivity. So, the next time when you’ve got a meeting, try to propose a walking meeting and become a torch bearer of this movement in your office.
  • Stand up occasionally. Too hard pressed for time? No need to go anywhere. Just leave your chair and stand up infrequently to stretch your leg and hand muscles. As per Nilofer Merchant, CEO, strategist & author, more than 9.3 hours are spent every day by average office workers which increase 11 percent of risk factors causing various fatal health problems.
  • If your office has yoga and health & wellness programs, which are quite common with multinationals these days, do participate. These programs are not only good for your health but they can even better relations between employee and his/her manager by reducing stress and tension.
  • Last but not the least, drink plenty of water as you take brisk walks. Sipping lots of fluids will keep you hydrated and energetic at the same time!

Check out this video below which shows exercises which can easily be done while in office:

 

I completely agree that there are few office jobs which require total involvement and attention most of the time. But that doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance at all. Be creative! Walk whenever it’s possible. It could be while you are having a bite or drinking coffee or sipping something or may be talking over phone. While sitting, there are few postures, if practiced, can relieve you of your shoulder and hand pain and stiffness like eye contraction, different neck movements, shoulder rolling clockwise and anti clockwise, static neck exercise, etc. Whenever you get time, make sure you walk and climb instead of sitting and taking the elevator all the time to keep those muscles and joints well functioning. Don’t waste the opportunity by sitting all the time. So the next time you have a question to ask your boss, avoid using the office phone. Go up to him/her and resolve your query. Walk and stay fit!!

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