An average American sits about 6 and half hours a day, according to data gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics, analyzed by the Journal of the American Medical Association. This might sound like not too much but bear in mind that this is an average number reflecting very different patterns of work and lifestyle. The normal office worker spends up to 15 (!) hours a day sitting at their desk and office workers represent majority of working population. American Heart Association reports that sedentary jobs have increased 83% for last 70 years and now Americans spend time sitting more than ever in the history. While it’s well-known how harmful for your health are obesity, smoking or heavy drinking, many fail to realize sedentary lifestyle can be as damaging for your health as obesity or smoking. According to Mayo Clinic, numerous studies indicate that those sitting for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity have a risk of dying similar to the risks associated with smoking and obesity.
How can we mitigate the harmful effects of sedentary work? Career experts from Workas have selected the following tips for you
Moving is living
Move as much as possible. Try to make a regular small breaks, at least once an hour stand up from your desk and have a short walk around (you might use pretexts such as taking paper from the printer, making your way to a conference room to make a call etc) This is not only important for your musculoskeletal system but for your eyes as well.
Which sport is good for you?
Not all sports are equally beneficial for sedentary workers. While many advocate running as the easiest to do sport, we would advise not to go for running if you typically spend all day sitting – at least without your doctor’s recommendation. The reason is that many sedentary workers have already some problems with spine which can deteriorate because of running. On the contrary, swimming has not only excellent effects on cardiovascular system and overall well-being but also makes it up for your spine and joints for long hours at a desk without movement.
Choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Place the monitor directly in front of you, at least 20 inches away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level.
Unhealthy eating habits coupled with sedentary lifestyle can accelerate obesity. It’s important that you focus on fruit and vegetables as well as lean protein sources such as chicken or seafood.
Choose your career
And finally, if your job is virtually killing you may be it’s time to look for a healthier career path? View through millions of job ads on Workas.org to choose your dream job