Of all the dangerous career possibilities out there, one of the jobs most likely to make you sick is a desk job. While you may have found a stable job with a decent salary, it could actually be putting you at risk. Research shows the paycheck and benefits of a sedentary job come with higher medical costs and an 82% increase of dying from cardiovascular disease.
The occupational hazards of desk jobs rank right up there with firefighters, pilots, and construction work. Who knew? Unfortunately for my husband and I, our salary greatly depends on spending hours upon hours at our desk. I write, he codes, and it’s all done at a computer. Ergonomic keyboards and desk chairs have nothing on reduced activity levels. So, we have to get a little more creative to stay active and healthy with our 40-hours-at-a-desk job.
Here are 5 ways to lower your health risks with a desk job:
Take frequent breaks.
Get up at least once an hour to walk around, even if only for a minute or two. You will increase your activity throughout the day, with the chance to give your brain a break to avoid burnout at work. It’s better for your activity levels and your overall productivity.
Use your lunch break to exercise.
Instead of going out, pack a lunch to eat at your desk, then get up and move around for your lunch hour instead. Hit the gym or take a long walk — you’ll be saving money on lunch and increasing your daily activity at the same time.
Do light exercises at your desk.
There are plenty of exercises that keep you moving and build muscle without the sweat that comes from a gym break during the work day. If you have your own office, it would be easy to throw in a break for crunches, push-ups, or hand weights on occasion. If you’re in the middle of cubicle land, it might take a little more creativity to squeeze in your muscle-building. My husband used to use an out-of-the-way stairwell.
Wear a pedometer.
Use a pedometer to track your steps and have a goal in mind for your day (10,000 steps per day is the gold standard). It will be a cue to walk around your desk, take a walk at lunch, or squeeze in some exercise in the evening.
Drink more water.
Drinking more water all day is not only good for your body’s hydration, but it will literally force you to get up and walk — to the bathroom. A friend of mine recently started drinking more water at her desk and noticed the number on her pedometer was higher at the end of each work day from all the extra bathroom breaks.
Try a walking desk.
I’ve seen a few walking desks over the last few years, and after seeing a fellow blogger’s recent results, I’m convinced this is the way to go. If you’re working from home, a treadmill desk could be the perfect option to stay active. The only question is, can I walk and type at the same time?
Photo Credit: Cris Goode
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