We spend around 12 hours a day sitting – whether it’s at our desk, on the sofa, or in the car, bus or train while commuting. That’s a lot of time being inactive, with experts suggesting increased ‘sedentary behaviour’ may be linked to a jump in health problems and can directly impact heart health.
All those hours spent on the couch watching the Australian Open can really tally up as well.
While we can’t quit our jobs to spend our days pursuing healthier pastimes (unfortunately!), there are ways to incorporate a healthier routine into your work day – you’ll be fit like Australia’s rising tennis stars in no time!
1. Stand up
Ask your employer to invest in a standing desk (or one that can be used as both a sitting and standing desk) to help you burn more calories, reduce lethargy and sleepiness after lunch, and even boost productivity.
2. Take a break
If a standing desk isn’t forthcoming, then implement your own way of incorporating regular periods of standing throughout the day. Set an alarm on your computer to remind you to get up every thirty minutes, always have lunch away from your desk, speak to a colleague rather than emailing them about something inconsequential, always use the stairs rather than the lift, and fill up your water bottle regularly from not-so-accessible places.
3. Stretch it out
Even though you’re sitting at your desk, there are still some exercises and stretches you can do to improve your fitness.
• Stretch your legs out under the desk and write the alphabet in the air with your toes
• Reach your arms above your head to reduce tension in your neck and shoulders
4. Walk and talk
You don’t need to hold meetings inside a stuffy boardroom. Instead, put on your trainers, and do some blue sky thinking in the great outdoors. It’s been shown to help those involved solve problems and encourages creativity.
5. Eat well
One survey revealed women consume an extra 100,000 calories every year at work (around 500 extra calories a day), due to mindless snacking from hunger, boredom, and long hours. There’s no need to go hungry: make sure you have healthy snacks to hand, such as nuts, fruit, or chopped veg.
Danielle Steedman has been a practicing Naturopath for more than 17 years, with time spent in clinical practice in Australia and the UK, and working in various corporate environments in education, training and product development. With a balanced approach to health, Danielle’s naturopathic philosophy is to educate patients through dietary and lifestyle choices and support healing with nutrition and herbal medicine. Danielle is a Blackmores Wellbeing Coach, empowering Australians to take control of their health and wellbeing. To start your wellbeing journey and get your personalised health plan, visit the Blackmores Wellbeing Check at www.wellbeingcheck.com.au
Speak to your healthcare practitioner if symptoms persist. Always read the label. Use only as directed. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.