Like we saw previously, our favorite sitting posture, that too when overdone is clearly not the best of our friends. It could cause severe health hazards Experts have recently been calling ‘sitting’ as the modern ‘smoking’ and unfortunately, not always are we left with much of a choice here. If we are stuck with a desk job, screen job or a driving job, then the best we could do is to negate the ill-effects caused due to extended sitting hours.
The main idea is not about exercising more, it is about sitting less.
So working out or doing subtle exercises before/after office won’t really compensate for the 8-10 hours of sitting at work. Instead, the idea is to instill the long day with short breaks every hour. So how can you do it?
- Begin With Sitting Right: Now that you cannot leave your desk or the screen or the wheel, the foremost thing to do is improvising your sitting posture. The placement of your feet, hands and the back, angle of your view with the monitor, distance between the keyboard and your body, all have a huge impact in the long run. Maintain a healthy sitting posture throughout the hours and you are already reducing a lot of stress on the body.
- Standing Seat, Best Seat: Our body is naturally designed in a straight line. With slouching or bending or sitting all the time, the originality is lost. Internal organs change positions and functioning varies. Hence standing in-between work hours for a few minutes or even few hours if possible is a great idea to mitigate changes. Take a standing seat often even if it may be a little painful in the initial days.
Now how do you stand and work, especially in low-budget and conservative workplaces? It would be helpful if you own a laptop. Carry your laptop and settle at some shelf or a rack which would suit your height. If there is no laptop, then grab yourself an inexpensive carton/box/yoga block or other such alternatives to place your computer on- thus elevating the height at your own desk. Of course, ensure that the box is portable, lightweight and unbreakable.
And in case of a budget-friendly workplace, solutions like standing-desks, sit-stand desks or even a treadmill desk (may sound too unreal to be true, but is a real thing) can be adopted. Being able to swap between sitting and standing will be a great system to escape convention. And about the treadmill desk, Victoria Beckham’s can be your real-time inspiration for the same
Further, if the management is receptive and liberal, you could propose a new idea of a ‘meeting’. In the case of small groups, you could start walking instead of conventionally sitting in the conference rooms. This will not only improve physical fitness but also have your creative juices flowing.
Lastly, if none of these seem possible, then take short breaks to stand for a few seconds or a few minutes between work and then go back to sitting and working. In either of the cases, when you stand, make sure you do not lock your knees and also equally distribute your weight on both feet.
- Walk and Make Your Colleagues Walk Too: Next is the art of smart walking. It is recommended that you walk for 10 minutes after working for every 1 hour. However, if that is not feasible, then a 2 min walk break for every 30-60 minutes should be the aim. Do not shy away in front of your seniors and colleagues. You never know, probably by the next week, they may be following you too!
- Fixed Number of Steps: It is a common advice that one should walk around 10,000 steps a day. However, this should not be confused with walks of half an hour or one hour. These steps are more about splitting them throughout the day’s activities to ensure adequate leg and body movement. Be consciously aware of the number of steps you take per day. Even an approximate count will help you maintain an average routine to ensure not overdoing or underdoing it on certain days.
Low Intensity Workout: Save crunches and push-ups for the gym and begin those basic body stretches, few seated leg lifts, calf lifts, toe touches, walking lunges, squats if possible, at the office. This will not only re-boost your mind but also improve your physique eventually. Eye exercises, seated leg lifts, and neck exercises are even better options which can be done while sitting right at your seat.
- Plan Your Lunch/Mobile Breaks Wisely: Utilize lunch breaks and mobile breaks well. Remember that Idea Ad ‘Walk and Talk’ starring Abhishek Bachchan? Don’t forget to walk while speaking over a call. Standing and slow walking helps blood sugar return to normal much faster after a meal. This burns more calories too and improves symptoms of arthritis as well. Also, use stairs during the lunch break or washroom break or whenever possible.
- The Water Trick: Drink more water- not just for the action water has on your body but also that you will walk to the washroom and water refill spot more often. Double benefits with one little idea!
The Flatter, the Better: This one is especially for ladies. With high heels and elevated calves all day long while you sit or stand or walk, your feet, as well as legs, are at an risk of unusual blood flow, cluttering of nerves, blood clots etc. To avoid this, flat footwear is suggested.
Standing or moving around not only boosts muscle and bone strength at the physical level but also ensures positivity and happiness at the level of the mind. It’s proven to keep you more alert and task-driven. So we hope the above given easy and realistic tips and tricks that will help us reduce the damage of prolonged sitting to a go.