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Here’s How to Maintain Wellness While Having a Desk Job

As per the Global Health Organization (GHO), about 2 million individuals pass away annually due to lack of physical activity. The GHO warns that extended periods of sitting may rank among the top 10 causes of mortality.

Nevertheless, countless Americans find themselves compelled to stay tethered to their workstations in order to meet rising rent expenses. Additionally, many juggle more than one job, necessitating prolonged periods of sitting each day. So, what can be done? Below are six suggestions on how to sustain your health when working a sedentary job.

1. Utilize Workplace Health Programs

Many workplaces nowadays acknowledge the importance of having healthy employees and invest in their well-being through various wellness initiatives. Some larger establishments may have an onsite gym, while others might collaborate with local facilities to offer discounted or complimentary memberships to employees. Should your employer provide such benefits, be sure to make the most of them.

Research indicates the positive impact of such programs. A recent study published in JAMA observed 20 workplaces with onsite wellness programs compared to 140 without. After 18 months, the group with wellness programs reported enhanced physical activity and increased participation in weight management compared to those without access to such facilities.

It’s a logical approach. Employees who have already commuted home after a taxing day are less inclined to seek out a babysitter for their children and hit the gym in the evening. Conversely, those who can fit in a workout during work hours or on a break can do so and still pick up their children from daycare on time at the end of their shifts.

2. Schedule Movement Alerts

Almost everyone owns a cellphone, and even basic models have alarm features. Set a reminder to go off every hour and use it as a prompt to stand up and move. You don’t need to sprint around the office complex; a simple stand, walk to the water cooler, climb stairs, or do a few stretches can help get your blood flowing.

If you prefer something more sophisticated, there is an abundance of reminder apps available, with many being free. Apps like BZ Reminder help you sort and prioritize tasks. Google Keep uses location data to remind you of specific tasks at particular locations, like reminding you to pick up groceries when you’re at the store.

3. Explore Alternative Seating Options

Are you obligated to use the same conventional desk chair as everyone else? Consult your HR department to learn about options for requesting a different and potentially superior seating arrangement.

For instance, adjustable-height desks allow you to stand periodically throughout the day, enhancing circulation and alleviating chronic pain. Sitting on an inflatable exercise ball promotes more movement as you adjust to maintain balance, engaging your core muscles.

4. Check Telecommuting Opportunities

How could telecommuting reduce your sedentary lifestyle? It could significantly alter your overall activity levels, particularly if you’re introverted.

Consider this: would you engage in a brief kickboxing session using an app to boost your circulation while at work? Unless your workplace has a gym, most likely not – it might seem odd to engage in such activities in formal attire. However, at home, you can dress comfortably and take short breaks for movement without drawing any attention.

At the very least, telecommuting a few days a week could free up extra time in your schedule. This additional time can be utilized for physical activities.

5. Handle Additional Tasks

Do you volunteer to run errands when needed at work? Taking on more tasks can impact your chances of advancement, especially for women, who often get tasked with additional chores at work that hinder their career progress. However, this strategy can boost your physical activity if your goal is to improve your fitness.

Better yet, walk or bike when running these errands whenever possible. This way, you increase your physical activity while also reducing carbon emissions.

Maintaining Health in a Sedentary Job Setting

A sedentary way of life raises the risk of various health conditions. It’s crucial to take proactive steps to safeguard your well-being, as ultimately, no one else will prioritize your health aside from yourself. Adopt the five suggestions above to maintain your health while working a sedentary job. Your job should not dictate your physical fitness level.

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