Have you ever noticed how tire you are at the end of an eight-hour workday? That fatigue may not be a result of job stress but sitting at your desk all day. Prolonged sitting leads to a sedentary lifestyle. Studies have shown that sedentary lifestyles lead to increase risk for obesity and heart disease. Sitting for long periods of time may also lead to type 2 diabetes.
Our bodies were made to move. We can help promote a healthier lifestyle when we alternate between sitting and standing and walking regularly throughout the day. Regular exercises help ward off musculoskeletal pain in the lower back and neck and reduces eye strain. Being active also helps improve circulation and a healthy digestive system.
If you have a desk job and the sitting is beginning to take a toll on your body here are some things you can do to reduce your fatigue.
1. Set a reminder on your phone to get up every hour to walk around and stretch.
2. Instead of emailing or calling an office mate walk over to their desk and have a conversation.
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Purchase a standing desk/workstation. When you can, alternate between sitting and standing to use different muscle groups and thus improve your posture.
5. Use the restroom or break room the furthest from your desk to get those extra increase your steps.
6. Whenever you receive a phone call make it a habit to stand for the duration of the call. While you are standing do a few knee bends or leg stretches.
7. Purchase a sitting cycling machine that you can easily tuck under your desk. Spend the day pedaling away while you are sitting and working.
8. Need to have a meeting with a coworker? Schedule a walking meeting. Pick a location covenant to your office or home such as a local park, schools (during the summer months) or the neighborhood where your office is located.
9. Take full advantage of your lunch break by taking a walk. It usually only takes a few minutes to eat your lunch so spend the remainder of your break walking.
10. Keep some hand weights or stretch bands at your desk. Try some bicep curls, overhead presses or waist stretches during break time.
11. Build in stretch or movement breaks during meetings. If your meeting is going to last more than an hour incorporate some movement time every 60 minutes. March around the
conference table, do some light calisthenics or stretches as a team. It will make you smile together, and you will be more alert to stay on task.
If you are interested in adding more exercise to your life, consider one of the exercise classes being offered through Penn State Extension. Check for more information here. https://extension.psu.edu/youth-family-and-health/nutrition-diet-and-health/fitness-and-exercise/shopby/workshops.