The one consistent thing that is that if people got up more from their desks, from watching television, there would be far less back and neck pain diagnoses. And many of the things that people can do to save themselves from a life time of pain are so simple, yet many people ignore it until it is too late which leads to a long and costly fix where the person spends many days in therapy or getting injections. But just a few adjustments to your every day routine could help. Here are a few suggestions to begin being healthier even though you may have a desk job:
- Get up. You should not be sitting for more than a half hour at a time. Posture can become poor meaning your shoulders can slump forward and your back can become curved in the wrong position—putting an extremely high amount of pressure on the discs in your spine. Over time this can lead to herniated discs which can cause numbness and tingling.
By getting up every half hour it prevents a lot of bad habits from developing. And when I say get up it does not need to be a lengthy trip out of the office, stand up at your desk, walk around your chair, walk to a file cabinet, and stand up during a conference call are all quick and simple ways to get moving during the day.
- Do exercises throughout the day. Exercises do not have to be squats at your desk chair, but standing up and doing some heel raises, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, stretching and shoulder rolls will help minimize the ill effects of sitting. If you find yourself at night sitting in front of the TV for long periods get up during commercial breaks, try not to get sucked in for hours with just sitting or laying.
- Walking meetings. Scheduling meetings where you can be walking from one place to the next or just scheduling a meeting to walk for an hour will make it a much more productive meeting. Exercise has been shown to increase brain activity. Walking or doing some type of exercise will allow for not only increased brain activity but also minimize the amount of sitting and often eating that is done because as we all know many meetings have been scheduled around consuming a meal or coffee.
Save yourself some sitting time and some calories by having these meetings while walking around.
- Look for ways to get up and moving, do not look for excuses. After reading these points, many of you have already formed 20 excuses as to why you cannot be doing any of these things and you are thoroughly convinced in your head that there is just no possible way. But if you truly take a step back, there are ways to have a more active lifestyle. Start with changing just one thing and then when that one thing becomes a habit, then change the next thing. This is an ongoing evolving process.
These are just a few points to give you ideas to get up and moving during the day. If you look hard enough you can find ways that can make your day more active. It is important when making changes to make changes that you incorporate into your lifestyle not just ones that you are going to do for a week and then quit. Finding a long term solution to sitting less will make you a healthier person.