Stay Fit at Work – Human body is designed to move in order to stay fit. It is found out that people spent most of life sitting. You may question as how is it possible? Here are few questioners for you to get answer.
- How many hours of sitting for lecture in school/college days?
- How many hours of watching movie at theatre?
- How many hours of sitting at desk/meeting, in case of desk job?
- How many hours of sitting while travelling (by car, bike or public transport)?
- How many hours of sitting for meals, snacks etc?
You may wonder by calculating number of hours sitting based on above questioners. It is changeling for people who have hardcore desk-bound job. Not everyone has the time or ability to leave everything for two hours and go for causal stroll or a brisk walk. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up with health!
Staying fit with your desk-bound job is actually possible. Let’s first check with list of health issues that arise in case of desk-bound job.
Poor body posture :
People who have desk-bound job often fall-victim to slouch position due to longer hours of sitting. This can lead to forward head posture due to continuously peeking into computer/laptop or files. This can even lead to chronic neck pain.
Lower back pain :
Lower back pain is most commonly faced problem with desk-bound job. The lower back, which starts right below the ribcage, is called the lumbar region. This pain can be intense and can land you on bed-ridden state. In most of cases low back pain often gets better on its own, or in some case a mild massage with ointment subsides the pain. However, in rare cases there arises need to take-up surgery. You can even experience anterior pelvic tilt where the lower back muscles tighten up.
Flat Butt :
Butt is either of the two round fleshy parts of human body that form the bottom. The muscles that exists in butts is inactive while you are in a seated position. If this sitting posture is for prolonged duration then it can weaken over a period of time. This means movements which require the butt muscle to work become more difficult such as climbing stair-case or rising from a seated position. If this posture is continuous for prolonged duration then this can even lead to extra stress on the lower back and hamstrings (round fleshy muscle that is present in the butt) to do the work of the weak butt, which can lead to injury and pain.
Diabetes risk :
According to researchers at the University of Leicester Departments of Health Sciences and Cardiovascular Sciences people who have desk-bound job and spend most of time sitting have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood.
Rounded shoulders :
It has been found that lots of people from this generation who are young have rounded shoulders (also referred to as hunched) which makes body posture very poor. It is often a habit for desk-bound people that your arms will be in front of you relaxing on desk. Once this becomes habit for long-time it creates rounded shoulder and thereby leading to poor body posture.
Due to this sitting posture the muscles that is present of the upper back and the neck gets strains and stretch over it. The muscles present in chest shortens as well as the small muscles present between the shoulder blades becomes weak. This also affects back muscles by stretching it. This ultimately has tremendous impact on your health. If this rounded shoulders becomes chronic then you can develop a hump in your back. This can also lead to shallow breathing since the diaphragm (a organ in human body which plays vital role in breathing) is compressed.
Protruding Gut :
Gut is a tube through which food is transferred to the digestive organs. It is also known as gastro-intestinal tract or alimentary canal. People who have desk-bound job are more prone to have protruding (i.e. projecting out) gut due to weak lower tummy muscles. It is common for these muscles to be weak due to tight hip flexors and sometimes tight lower back muscles as with anterior pelvic tilt.
Carpal tunnel syndrome :
Carpal tunnel syndrome (which is abbreviated as CTS) is a medical condition in which the median nerve (nerves that run from biceps to wrist) of wrist and which travels from the carpal tunnel causes severe pain or numbness or stinging sensation. This causes pain in the parts of the hand that receives sensation pulse from the median nerve. This pain in wrist sometimes extends upto your arm and thus causing discomfort to your shoulder as well as forearm parts of body.
Desk-bound people who spend most of time on laptop or computer are more prone to this syndrome since wrist is continuously under pressure.
Tight hamstrings :
Hamstrings are round fleshy muscles present on the upper back of your legs and for important part of your butt. When you spend most of time seating these muscles are tightened. Tight hamstrings can lead to muscle strains and pulls (also known as knee pain).
Knee pain :
Tight hamstring and the calf muscles (i.e. muscles present on the back of the lower leg) puts pressure on the knee and this can weaken quadricep muscles (muscles present on the front of the thigh). This can cause the knee to track out of alignment and thus causing knee injury and instability.
Now you may be caution about your health. Below you will find a collection of exercise that anyone can do to stay fit workout routine with desk-bound job. Some of them don’t even require getting up whereas others take not more than 10 minutes out of your daily routine.
Take stairs :
Stair climbing is a unique form of exercise that can have a powerful and positive impact on your health over a period of time. The daily activities such as walking, stair-case climbing, running to catch bus, etc are more closely associated with improved health. According to researchers climbing just eight flights of stairs a day lowers average early mortality risk by 33%. It has also been found that seven minutes stair climbing a day can halve the risk of heart attack over next 10 years. Along with this benefits stair-case climbing can improve your cardiovascular fitness as well. It can be considered as ‘vigorous’ form of exercise and burns more calories as compared to jogging.
Take a walk during break :
You have often heard this advice before from seniors or colleagues but have ignored most of times. There are innumerable number of benefits of walking such as reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke, reduces risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, helps in losing weight, prevents dementia, tones up legs, bums and tums, boosts up your vitamin D, gives you energy and even it makes you happy by releasing feel-good endorphins to boost your mood. Now you may be wondering where is time to walk when at job? The answer is to take a wall during your lunch break, coffee break or gossip break.
Stretch your hips while you type :
When you sit at desk, in cars or in theatre, you fold legs at the hip and thus shorten hip flexors. This can lead to stiffness in lower part of body and can cause pain in the lower back. Instead you should try numerical 4 style approach which involves placing one ankle on the opposite thigh so that your lower body forms the numeral 4. While being at this posture exhale as you lean forward over the legs, keeping your back straight. Do this until you perform three deep breaths and then switch the legs. Work up to switching leg three times or as many times as you feel until you get stress free.
Reach for the ceiling :
When you get neck pain right between the shoulder blades while working with you laptop or desktop it is an indication that the position is bad for you. In this case you should reach both arms up to the ceiling and try arching your back. Now bring the arms down and stretch forward which forms C-posture of your body. It is recommended to do this every 30 minutes while you are at desk.
Don’t snack :
It has been found that almost 40 percent of office workers gain weight just from snacking at work. This includes chips, aerated drinks at the vending machine, wide range of tea from tea dispenser etc. Instead opt for something healthy like an apple or a fruit juice from local vendor.
Move around the office :
It is very important to break the habit of a sedentary (i.e. tending to spend much of time seated) lifestyle every hour or two hours. You can use simple tips such as instead of phoning a colleagues in the office walk to his/her desk in person, walk to pantry to fetch water instead of asking office boy to do so.
Squat before you sit :
Squat refers to posture in which you sit with one’s knees bent and one’s heels close to buttocks. You can do squat before you sit on chair at your cubicle. Stand with a distance of one inch from your chair in a position that you can sit on chair. Now you squat on chair as if you are going to sit on chair. During this process when your backside is about to touch the chair then stand back up and then squeeze the glutes (skeletal muscles that form buttock). According to researchers if you do this just for one minutes every dat at your desk it can burn upto 50 calories in just one week of time.
Use your Sit muscles other than sitting :
Sitting in a desk chair puts you in an ideal position to practice Kegels. Kegels exercise (also known as Pelvic floor exercise) consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor. The benefits of this exercise is to reduce urinary incontinence, reduce premature ejaculatory occurrences in men as well as to increase the size and intensity of erections. It can also improve your ability to reach orgasm, help you master control of your bladder, forestall incontinence and also support your pelvic organs. Most of the physical therapists, gynaecologists and fitness pros recommend doing this at east three sets of 10 every day.
Cardio at cubicle :
The desk treadmill or portable pedal bike can come to your rescue if you have sedentary lifestyle at office. You can do workout while staying at desk using desk treadmill or portable pedal bike. This is the most efficient way to burn lots of calories while you remain at desk. If you are restricted to small cubicle at office then then thanks to portable pedal bike.
Drink lots of water :
Research have shown that drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water throughout the day can promote weight loss tremendously. Hence, drink plenty of water throughout the day and refill your bottle or glass by walking to the pantry. This keeps you alert as well as hydrated throughout the day. Water is also responsible for making you feel full and prevents premature hunger as well as cravings.
Ditch the car/bike :
Whenever possible avoid using car or bike and go to work by walk or run. In case you stay far away from your office then try parking far away from destination and walk the rest part of way.
Walk when you talk :
It is observed that most people talk on their mobile phones by sitting at their desk. Now, make it a practice to get up from your seat and go for a walk when you’re on the phone.