Pain Free Working

6 Tips for Better Fitness With a Desk Job

6 Tips for Better Fitness With a Desk Job

Having a desk job mostly requires us to sit for almost 8 hours a day. Since you are stationed in one position for the whole workday, this oftentimes leads to a sedentary lifestyle which poses a lot of health risks such as heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes. Aside from the obvious physical health risk, there is also a study that links a sedentary lifestyle to cognitive decline and may lead to dementia. With this in mind, is there a way to prevent this desk job health risk to affect our lives? Is there a way we can achieve better fitness with a desk job?

If those questions boggle your mind, then we believe that you may want to read on as we have found ways to combat the health risks that come with having a desk job

What Makes Desk Job Unhealthy?

Woman in White Tank Top Sitting at the Table

Before we discuss the things we can do for better fitness with a desk job, we must first understand what makes a desk job unhealthy.

A desk job makes us sit too much or put us in one position all day. This means little to no movement for long hours in the day. Another thing to note is that our generation is not like our grandparents anymore. We spend most of our time sitting. When we watch TV, go to our work in our car, check social media pages on our phones, we are most probably doing it in a seated position.

But why is sitting too much bad for our health? In a Harvard article, they can’t exactly tell the reason sitting for long hours is detrimental for our health, but one explanation is that when we sit for too long, the largest muscles in our body relax and when our muscles relax, it would not require glucose, thus increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Another consequence of sitting too long is it tightens the hip and hamstring muscles and makes our joints stiff.

How To Achieve Better Fitness With a Desk Job

Better Fitness with desk job

Now that we have found that health risks that come from a desk job are rooted in sitting too long or being physically inactive, we can now easily discuss the prevention and how we can achieve better fitness with a desk job.

Take Short Activity Breaks

You don’t have to be glued to your desk all day if you work at a desk job. Get up and walk around at least once every hour. Go to the restroom, prepare a coffee or tea. If you need to discuss a pending project with a coworker, then go to their area rather than just calling them.

Surprisingly taking short physical activity breaks during working hours gives more health benefits than going to a gym. According to an article, there is a field known as “inactivity research” wherein scientists have found out that physical inactivity for a long period of time is what contributes to health risks. With that said, it is better to break your cycle of sitting for long hours and to go to the gym after sitting for too long.

Maximize Your Lunch Time

You may be tempted to just sit down after having lunch. But if you can, try to squeeze in a walk outside. You don’t need to walk far, but a good 10-15 minute walk outside will not only do good for your body. Walking also boosts your mood and is good for your mental health.

Make Your Own Lunch

When you work for eight or more hours a day, going out to eat may seem more convenient. But food portions, from most restaurants, are usually not at par with what your body needs for a meal. In addition, restaurants use more salt and sugar in their dishes than you would at home.

You can try meal prepping and making your lunch ahead of time. Try to have high-protein, fiber-rich snacks at work so you can stay energized all day.

Do Some Stretching

If you can’t get up every hour, then try to take a quick 30-second break to stretch. You can touch your toes, stretch your arms, do a few jumping jacks, or you can try to do some deskcercises. If in case you might be too focused on your work, you can set a timer to remind yourself to be a little active while you are at your desk.

Use the Stairs More Often than the Elevator

Need to go to the meeting room that is just 2 floors up? Then why not take this opportunity to use the stairs rather than the elevator. If you have an option to use the stairs, then always take it. This is a good physical activity that you can effortlessly add to your lifestyle.

Also, if you are not used to taking the stairs, you can always start small. Try the swap for 1 floor first and as you get used to taking the stairs 1 floor up, then you can gradually add another floor. This is definitely a literal take on “stepping up the ladder” but all for a good reason!

Aternate Between Standing and Sitting

Nowadays, there are offices that promote standing at your desk by providing standing desks. Since standing while working proves to better production and it can also provide as movement while working. Moreover standing while working can also burn calories.

If you don’t have a standing desk, then just try to stand up as much as you can. Why not stand up every time you take your calls? Or sort your paper files while standing. If you can do any activity while standing instead of sitting, then always choose to get up to your feet.

We are a generation that works mostly on desk jobs, so we hope that these tips for better fitness with a desk job are something that you can easily follow and add to your daily work routine. It will take some time to fully incorporate all the tips in your lifestyle, so always remember to start small and choose the one that you can easily do and add to your routine.

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.