Like the overwhelming majority of us, if you’re sitting behind a desk for most of the week, you’re likely to be bothered by tension or pain in the neck, shoulders, back or hips. Sitting for long periods of time is not great for our body or health, and recent studies from the American College of Physicians show that excessive sedentary behaviour is linked to heart disease, diabetes and even premature death. The solution is simple: get up and get moving. However, if your job depends on it, it’s not that easy. Here are six ways you can get your body moving, blood flowing, and muscles stretched throughout the working day, without having to compromise your time.
1. Work whilst standing
Easily the best long-term solution, standing uses way more muscles in your body than sitting, and therefore burns more calories. Standing can actually burn up to 30% more calories than sitting, and can reverse shoulder and back aches. While, standing desks can cost thousands of pounds, there are plenty of ways to improvise the elevation of your computer–try using a pile of books, for starters. If this isn’t an option, don’t worry, because we have five more tips coming your way.
2. Stretch at your desk
Here at Qured, we’re big fans of stretching, as the benefits range from increasing energy levels to releasing tension in your body. It’s also a great mental break from looking at your screen all day long! For starters, try the Seated Spinal Twist or the Chest Opener. By stretching every 30 minutes, the hunched position of sitting can be reversed, aiding neck and back pain.
3. Stay hydrated
Why not kill two birds with one stone? Everyone knows water is the key to a healthy body and mind, but it also means a few extra trips to the bathroom. Research suggests that we should be getting up at least every half hour throughout our time sitting in the day, and that includes filling your water bottle up from the tap! To stay hydrated, try setting yourself goals or infusing your water with herbs and fruit.
4. Walk during phone calls
We all have those phone chats that we think are only due to last fifteen minutes and easily turn into an hour. Luckily, there’s no need to zone out during those phone calls, because walking while you talk has the ability to increase efficiency and attentiveness. The change of scenery is also great to reduce tension and encourage more creativity in a free-flowing conversation. Plus, who wouldn’t take the chance to step out of the office for a change?
5. Volunteer for the coffee run
Almost everyone in the office is bound to get a coffee, tea, or water during the first few hours of the morning. Instead of letting your colleagues get them for you, or letting your colleagues help themselves, why not volunteer to get everyone their morning dose of java? Hopefully this will require you to make more than one run to and from the kitchen!
6. Exercise during lunch
First of all, always take your lunch break – it’s important for your mental health and wellbeing, and better yet, a great opportunity to get active. If you have a local gym in the neighbourhood that you can walk to, join it! If not, go for a run outside or sneak off for a quick circuit in the park to enjoy a change of scenery. Try to get your co-workers involved for some extra motivation – and if you’re feeling crazy – start an office fitness challenge!
Always contact a physiotherapist when struggling with sports injuries, aches in the body, or requiring advice regarding mobility and function. With the Qured app, you can see a physiotherapist at a time and location of your choice. For more information and to book an appointment, check out -> qured.com/physiotherapy