6 tips to improve health at work

A typical 9-to-5 desk job can have negative consequences for your health. Research has connected too much sitting with health issues ranging from increased blood pressure to high blood sugar, high cholesterol and a higher risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. But there are ways to combat the effects of a desk job. These six tips will help improve your health at work and at home:

Woman typing on laptop.

1. Take a break for fitness – The Mayo Clinic suggested taking regular breaks walk or doing gentle stretches. Research suggests that walking throughout the day will help combat being “sedentary,” defined as fewer than 5,000 steps per day, according to a study from the Department of Exercise and Wellness at Arizona State University.

2. Have walking meetings – Instead of gathering around a conference table or at your desks, head outdoors for a meeting. Walk while you talk. If you can’t get outside, walk laps in the office, the Mayo Clinic suggested.

3. Trade your desk chair for a standing or treadmill desk – The Mayo Clinic also suggested standing while you work or talk on the phone. If possible, try a treadmill desk so you can walk and work at the same time. It can take practice, but it’s doable. Walk at a slow, gentle pace, not a power walk. It keeps the blood moving. Start by walking while you read, then work up to walking while you type.

4. Exercise at your desk – Taking a short break to exercise at your desk can make all the difference. Time Magazine suggested chair squats, book raises and tricep desk dips. All of these can be accomplished with little space in the office, and it can improve your health and your day.

5. Hit the stairs – If you have regular breaks or a little downtime, this is a great opportunity to get some needed exercise in. According to Prevention, you can benefit from taking 10 minutes to climb the office staircase.

6. Get exercise during your commute – Walk or bike to work if you can, or at least park far away from your office so you get a walk in then, explained Dawn Jackson, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, to WebMD.

While it’s important to increase your activity throughout your workday, regular exercise will help keep you healthy, too. Find a type of exercise you enjoy, and then schedule it into your week on a regular basis. Whether it’s weight training, yoga, running or power walking, the exercise you like will be the one you keep doing to improve your health at work.

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