Working at a desk may look safe, but it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. While the occupational hazards in an office are different from those at a construction site or hospital, it's still wise to take some precautions.
A growing number of studies have raised concerns about the effects of sitting for long periods, which can include increased risk of heart conditions, diabetes, certain cancers, and weight gain. That's especially troubling considering that the average American spends more than 10 hours a day sitting.
Add job-related stress to the mixture, and you can see how the consequences can start to add up.
Learn what steps you can take to counteract the downside of your desk job. Start with these ideas for protecting your health and wellbeing.
Tips for Protecting Your Physical Health:
1. Adjust your posture. Slouching can cut off your circulation and make your lower backache. Try drawing your shoulder blades down and back to open up your chest. A lumbar support pillow may help too.
2. Take frequent breaks. Studies show that moving around about every half hour reduces the negative effects of sitting. In fact, it may be even more effective than regular exercise. Make it a habit to stretch or walk around your office for a few minutes.
3. Align your wrists. Typing with a bent wrist could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Rest them occasionally and ensure your workstation is set up ergonomically.
4. Rest your eyes. If your eyes are dry, and your vision is blurred, you may be staring at the computer screen too long. Look away occasionally and do eye exercises like blinking or staring at something in the distance.
5. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to maintain your body temperature, metabolism, and heart health. Aim for 8 glasses a day.
7. Take your lunch AWAY from your desk. Decompress during this time. Getting up is important for both mental and physical health. Give our mind a rest from daily work stuff. Getting rid of ALL the technology is better. Give your mind a chance to wander. Stretching your legs getting your blood flowing for that afternoon burst of energy.
Be sure to try at least one of these out, then add another and another. You get the point.