Tips for Staying Active Even with a Sedentary Job!
At our physical therapy practice, we see many patients who want to excel in their careers and provide for their families—but it’s hard to do that when dealing with pain, or if you are unsure how to begin exercising. Unfortunately, the truth is that many people eventually realize that it is the sedentary nature of their work that directly affects their health and job performance.
It is important to note that getting active can vastly improve your health, your comfort, mobility, and overall quality of life. That’s why it’s so important to stay active, even when you have a desk job.
It is important for everyone to get at least a little bit of exercise each day. If you’re sitting for most of your working day, it’s essential to find a way to move more frequently. Not only will regular movement help mitigate the risks associated with excessive sedentary behavior (such as back pain, obesity, and even heart disease), but research suggests that it can also increase productivity, mental focus, and job satisfaction.
Need some tips for staying on the move while also working a desk job? Check out the helpful tips below from our staff of licensed physical therapists!
Here are 5 tips to get you moving throughout the day!
- Take advantage of your surroundings. Come up with ways to move more on and around your work area. Can you park farther away from the building? Allocate 10 minutes of your lunch break to a brisk walk around the campus or neighborhood? Take the stairs instead of the elevator? Walk down the hall to chat with your colleague or employee instead of sending an email or text?
- Remember to stay hydrated. Staying well-hydrated on the job offers multiple benefits: it helps your tissues and joints stay healthy, it improves focus, it eases headaches, and yes—it will make you need to get up more frequently to use the bathroom!
- Address any pain you may be experiencing. It’s hard to stay focused and comfortable at work if you’re in pain. And while we know that sitting for longer than 7 to 8 hours per day is associated with health problems, sometimes the idea of increasing your physical activity can seem like a huge obstacle. By consulting with a physical therapist, you can get underlying health problems diagnosed and managed. Our therapists use non-invasive, evidence-based techniques that work with your body’s natural healing power—it’s not just about masking the pain! Doctors of physical therapy can also prescribe expert guidance on ergonomic improvements around your office and can help you maximize your posture, core strength, and other elements of health so you can function better while on and off the clock.
- Track your steps with a pedometer. Research shows that wearing a simple pedometer (you can find super inexpensive options online and in sports retail stores) helps increase the number of steps you take per day. This kind of objective data can be inspiring and get you to move more frequently than you may otherwise. You may even consider getting some colleagues to join the “pedometer club” and create a little friendly competition to see who can get the most steps in throughout a typical work day or week!
- Take short workout breaks during the day. At least once per hour, pause what you’re doing and take a few minutes to run through some simple exercises or stretches. These can be done in the privacy of your own office or even out in the open (hey—maybe you’ll inspire your co-workers!). Ask a physical therapist to provide you with an individualized program that can address your specific needs and be tailored to your job duties.
An active lifestyle can also help you achieve better sleep at night
Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your health, and about a third of the population in the United States struggles with getting to sleep and/or staying asleep.
An important aspect of an active lifestyle is that it can help you achieve better sleep, and in turn be more alert when you are awake. Exercise naturally tires out your body so when you lay your head down at night, you can know you’re getting better quality sleep.
Looking for more tips and tricks?
If you would like more assistance on getting active throughout the day, our physical therapists can help. Contact Zoan Physical Therapy today to schedule a consultation!