7 Ways to Keep Up Your Mental and Physical Health With a Desk Job

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The potential health risks associated with living a sedentary lifestyle are well-documented. Spending prolonged periods of time sitting can cause a wide range of health and well-being issues. These include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, muscular-skeletal issues, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. While most people are aware of the potential issues caused by a sedentary lifestyle, knowing how to prevent them can be challenging. When a job requires employees to sit at a desk all day, it can certainly be difficult to maintain good mental and physical health. Thankfully, there are many ways to protect mental and physical health while working a desk job.

Keep reading to discover seven ways to support your mental and physical health while spending the working day sitting at a desk:

1. Take Regular Breaks

Work-life can be busy and stressful. This means that it’s easy to spend hours sitting in front of the computer without moving. Attempting to power through with work without breaks may feel like an excellent way to be productive. However, the opposite is often true. Failing to take regular breaks means that more time is spent sitting, which takes a greater toll on both physical and mental health. 

Taking regular breaks allows opportunities to stretch and move around. This reduces the impact of prolonged sitting on the body. Taking regular breaks can also help to improve productivity. Resources such as The Good Marketer’s blog have more tips on improving efficiency and productivity to help maximise time spent at work and deliver impressive results.

2. Maintain Good Posture

It’s easy to fall into the habit of hunching over the desk and slipping into poor posture. However, doing this everyday can soon lead to problems. Muscular-skeletal issues can become a painful problem to deal with if poor posture is left unchecked. 

Improving the work setup will help keep posture-related issues at bay. Ensuring that office chairs have adequate lumbar support is a helpful starting point. Maintaining the correct sitting position with feet flat on the floor and keeping the elbows at a 90-degree angle when typing can help with this.

3. Step Outside

Stepping outside into the fresh air is a guaranteed way to feel better after being stuck inside the office. Making the most of break times by getting outside can provide an instant well-being boost. Even five minutes spent in the fresh air can be enough to return to the office feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work.

4. Look for Opportunities to Exercise

Seeking out opportunities to exercise is vital when a job involved being sat in front of a desk. There are many simple ways to do this. Taking the stairs instead of the lift is one of the easiest ways to be more active during the working day. Going for a walk at lunchtime rather than eating at the desk is another solution. If management allow it, organising walking meetings and ditching the boardroom is another way to be more active at work.

5. Switch Between Sitting and Standing

In recognition of the impact that prolonged sitting can have on physical and mental health, many companies have introduced standing desks to their workspaces. Taking the opportunity to use a standing desk and then alternating between sitting and standing can be really beneficial. This can help improve posture and ease stiff muscles and joints. It may be possible to request a sitting/standing desk from management to support physical health in the workplace.

6. Make the Most of Natural Light

Artificial light in the workplace can have an impact on workers’ physical health and wellbeing. In contrast, natural light in the workplace is scientifically-proven to help reduce eyestrain, headaches, and support healthy sleep rhythms for workers. Natural light in the workplace also helps to boost vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is essential for good health, helping to boost the mood, reduce inflammation in the body, and support bone health.

7. Get Active Outside Work Hours

One final way to protect mental and physical health while working a desk job has nothing to do with time spent at work. In fact, it’s what happens outside of work that counts. A person with a sedentary job who spends their leisure time lounging in front of the TV is far more likely to experience mental and physical health issues. Using free time to get active and pursue hobbies and interests is an excellent way to offset a sedentary work life.

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