Do you sit at a desk all day for work? Have you noticed cramping in your neck, back and shoulders as a result? Stiffness in your legs and other joints? On average, Americans sit for about 10 hours per day, which can have a devastating impact on our overall physical #health. According to an article on cbsnews.com, published January 19 “Researchers say the average person spends more than half their waking hours sedentary, doing such things as working at a computer, watching TV or sitting in traffic.”
Medical professionals have associated long term effects of sitting with “significantly higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression, as well as muscle and joint problems.” Despite all of the negative impacts sitting can have on us, the good news is, there are ways to combat the damage of sitting for long durations by modifying our behavior in a few simple ways.
Experts from the British Journal of Sports Medicine say “Americans should begin to stand, move and take breaks for at least two out of eight hours at work.” Experts recommend “getting away from your desk” at least once an hour for about 5 or 10 minutes of activity. Something as simple as walking to go get a cup of coffee or stretching can greatly improve the negative impacts of sitting.
It’s also important to support wrists, shoulders, arms, back, and neck in order to reduce pain . Some simple exercises to consider doing involve standing up and sitting back down without using your hands, shrug your shoulders, sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair, and make sure to take some deep breaths to support both mental and physical health.
Another thing we must pay attention to in order to take care of ourselves at the office, is staying hydrated! And making sure to fill up on healthy snacks that will ensure we maintain our energy and focus throughout the day. Since water is our #body’s primary component, and we’re always losing it during the day, we need to make sure we’re replenishing those lost fluids by drinking about 2.2 liters per day, for women, and about 3 liters per day for men.
Check out this neat infographic on the importance of water
The good news is since fruits and vegetables also contain lots of water, we can count consumption of them toward our daily intake of water. However, each individual’s water needs will vary, depending on amounts of daily exercise and other factors. Consult your physician for any specific questions related to diet and exercise.
Finally, when we’re not at work, getting moderate amounts of activity is also important for to maintain our mental and physical health. Walking, running, biking, yoga or basically anything that gets you up and moving around is beneficial, experts say. It is important to try and get at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise per day.