Does your job leave you sitting all day behind a desk, unable to leave for extended periods of time? Is your commute keeping you from hitting the gym before or after work? Are you too tired when you get home to even think about a serious workout?
Working in a seated position all day can cause musculoskeletal pain, and it certainly doesn’t help your joints. If you have arthritis, sitting in an office chair all day can cause discomfort to worsen and make you feel stiff when you do finally clock out to go home.
If you need to find ways to improve your health and fitness even when you’re stuck at work all day, try these tips to keep yourself moving, prevent excess weight from creeping on, and relieve discomfort from stiffness or swelling.
You got to move it, move it!
One idea to get some exercise in: consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Another option: park on the opposite side of the building and get some steps in between the door and your desk. Want to get really wild with your pedometer? Look for parking a few blocks from your office and build time in to walk from your car to your chair.
Break time: find a route to walk around your office, or maybe outside around the building if it’s a nice day. Does your building have a workout room? Have a chat with HR about the benefits of providing healthy workout options for employees. Try to start a challenge for steps walked in a workday, or invest in a foot cycle to stick under your desk so you can silently pedal the hours away. Motion is good for your knee and hip joints, so any of these ideas can help alleviate stiffness and improve circulation.
For your wrists, neck, and upper body health, make sure you’re using tools that protect your joints and spine. Position your monitor so you don’t get “tech neck” and invest in a keyboard and mouse that makes it easy on your hands and wrists when you’re spending long hours doing data entry or typing up reports.
Ask for an office chair upgrade, and voice-to-text software to improve your posture and save your hands and wrists from hours of typing away at the keyboard. It’s in your employer’s best interests to keep you in top form. They can always write these items off as expenses. Ask for things at the end of the fiscal year when there might be unspent money in the budget that needs to be expended.
Bringing your own, healthy lunch to work at least three days a week can cut down on the amount of catered or fast food picked up from the corner burger joint or local greasy spoon. You can make sure you’re getting whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, along with fresh fruits and veggies for important antioxidants that improve joint health and keep you from piling on pounds.
Sitting at a desk all day doesn’t have to wreck your health. These tips can help you stay active and optimize your health.
Have discomfort after all day at the office? Book an appointment with Dr. Strasburger. He might have a regenerative treatment recommendation that can dial down the aches and improve your mobility so you can enjoy your days off.