So, after a period of job hunting you’ve now got yourself an office job. Congratulations. But how healthy is your new job? You may not be aware of the hidden health effects of a desk job, especially combined with driving to work. In between your 9-5 you may not have time to properly exercise, making you one of the nearly half of South Africans with a sedentary lifestyle. If you are feeling low in mood and energy, with aching back and joints, then some moderate exercise could help. Here’s how to get fit even when you work all day at a desk.
Fit in Exercise Wherever Possible
Your job may last from 9am to 5pm, with a couple more hours spent getting ready and commuting, but you aren’t at your desk for this whole time. Take any opportunity you can to walk. This doesn’t have to be a walk at pace, just anything to get your muscles moving.
If possible, consider walking to work or even just get off the bus a stop early and walk from there. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Your break is also a great time to get some exercise in. Instead of eating at the office canteen, try walking into town and picking up some lunch there. Just half an hour of walking a day can help you lose weight and prevent the onset of diabetes and heart conditions.
Get a Standing Desk
If you are serious about staying healthy at your desk job, then ask your boss if it’s possible to get a new desk. If you work from home and have complete control over your work environment, then this should definitely be a priority.
A standing desk will allow you to burn many more calories compared to sitting, preventing your risk of becoming overweight or developing diabetes. It will also help you to maintain a straight back, thus avoiding the back problems linked to slouching in an office chair. Having the option of a desk that can be used both sitting down and standing up is ideal if you have trouble standing for hours at a time.
Desk jobs are increasingly common as more people are working with computers rather than doing manual labour. However, work takes up a good chunk of the week, leaving little time to fit in exercise. By adding a small amount of walking to your daily routine or switching to a standing desk, you can be sure to stay fit in your desk job.
By Jane Sandwood