Cubicle workers face special challenges when it comes to staying healthy and active. As the modern workforce has shifted from physical labor to desk jobs, the type of activity that most people do on a day to day basis is limited to walking to and from their car.
Research has shown that the rise in obesity over the past five decades may be due to changes in work habits and overall lifestyle.
However, just because you spend the majority of your day at a desk in front of your computer doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to an unhealthy lifestyle. Commit to being an active cube resident and you’ll benefit from a happier and healthier workday.
Even if you’re not ready to switch office equipment or show off your bicep curls to your coworkers, at the very least you can make sure you get up and move regularly. Setting a timer to go off every 45 minutes will remind you to get up, walk around the office and get your body moving.
Why is Sitting So Dangerous?
Sitting at a desk all day doesn’t seem strenuous or harmful—here are some eye-opening facts from the latest research.
- Sitting too much can increase your chances for events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or a heart attack. (Mayo Clinic)
- Those who sit more than 11 hours per day have a 40% higher risk of dying in the next three years, compared to those who sat less than four hours a day. (Sax Institute)
- Sitting for more than six hours per day makes you significantly more likely to develop diabetes. (Kansas State University)
Three Ways to Make Desk Jobs Healthier
The eye-opening research on sitting and health may have you concerned about your life as a cubicle worker. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to help increase your activity and decrease your risk of chronic illness.
Use a standing (or adjustable) desk.
Standing desk usage is on the rise – and with good reason. With a standing workstation, you can comfortably work at the computer, burn more calories and develop better cardiovascular health. You can use a standing desk with a high stool so you can opt to sit or stand. Alternatively, you can use an adjustable desk that will allow you to customize your workstation throughout the day.
Ergonomics is the science of making the body comfortable – including in a workspace. Although having an ergonomic chair or keyboard won’t get your entire body moving, it will help ensure that you’re as pain-free as possible. With a comfy workspace and equipment that supports your body, you’ll be less likely to suffer from repetitive injuries and you’ll be ready to hit the gym after the workday ends.
Try out cubicle exercises.
There are dozens of cubicle exercises that you can do right at your desk. While your office mates might give you a few odd glances, you’ll benefit from a stronger body and less joint stiffness. Try doing some sitting pushups using the edge of your desk for resistance. You can also crunch your abdominals, do glute squeezes and stretch your chest muscles from a sitting position.
Get moving toward an active workspace
A few simple changes in your office can yield long-term health benefits for your employees. A workplace change expert can help, starting with furniture solutions. Find out how »