Studies now show that even if you exercise, sitting for extended periods raises your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and general early death. Here’s how to compensate for all that sitting and staring at the computer.
Get off your ass. The ideal scenario is your company springs for a treadmill desk, so you can walk slowly w while you work. But since that’s not h happening, try the more affordable st standingtanding desk. Really. Give it a day b beforeefore you knock it. If you’re chairb bound,ound, arrange your work space inn a way that enables you to type w without hunching your shoulders. Iff you can’t change anything about yo yourour arrangement, at least stand up an andnd walk around for 10 minutes for ev everyvery hour you sit.
RollR your wrists. Relieve the wrist aacheche from typing by making a fist (lightly,l like you’re holding a baby birdbird in each hand) and do wrist circles,ciircles, 10 times inward and 10 timestiimes outward.
ShrugS your shoulders. Doing this move several times releases neck and shoulder tension, thereby increasing blood flow and oxygen, and it isn’t as much of a distraction for your cubicle-mate as big arm circles are.
Get Geta a hands- hands-freefree phone device. Close your office door if you’re afraid of what people will think of your hands-free device. Using it will not only prevent the neck pain caused by trying to hold the phone between your ear and your shoulder when you need to take notes during a call, but also enable you to pace in your office, giving you better circulation than sitting does.
Arch your back. When sitting, we tend to round our backs in a C-curve, with our stomach caving in. Reverse that C-curve in a simple stretch: Stand up and arch your back so that your stomach sticks out.
Get out of the office. Cigarette breaks are relaxing. They’re an excuse to step away from what you’re doing and take some deep meditative breaths. Problem is, cigarettes, you know, kill you. Instead, step outside and take deep breaths of actual fresh air. Turns out it’s even more relaxing.
Give your eyes a break. Try staring at something in the distance every 15 minutes. Blink often or use eye drops if you’re dried out. If your eyes are still feeling strained at the end of the day, talk to an optometrist about getting reading glasses or special computer eyeglasses. You should also make sure to wipe off any dust on the screen and adjust the monitor so that there’s no glare from windows or lights.
Don’t eat lunch at your desk. And if you do, use hand sanitizer. Desks are usually the most germ-infested part of an office — and that includes the bathroom.
Take that vacation time. All two weeks. Even if it’s long weekends here and there. Your coworkers could stand a break from you.