Design A Healthier Routine for Your Desk Job

October 26, 2011

No matter how busy you might be, if your daily routine is anything like ours here at Evolve, you usually spend the majority of your work day sitting down. New research is showing that spending so much time sitting down could put us at risk for serious health problems. You may want to sit down for this. Well, on second thought, stand.

Sitting, Really?

Yes, really. Recent research has found that Americans are spending more time sitting than ever before. Within the last 20 years, exercise rates have remained the same while sitting time has increased by 8 percent. With these statistics, along with the rapidly growing obesity levels and more people resorting to drive-thru fast food, it’s no wonder why adding in extra sitting time only worsens the problem.

It may sound crazy, but sitting for prolonged periods of time is dangerous business as it facilitates things like poor posture, dropped insulin levels and reduced-to-no muscle activity in the legs. Some of you may be thinking, “Oh, I’m fine. I work out several days a week. No biggie,” but the latest research proves otherwise.

It’s all in the facts

Both Men’s Health Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine have reported on the topic, adding that even people who work out at least 30 minutes a day, several times a week, are still at high risk for problems like weight gain, unhealthy blood sugar and high cholesterol levels if they spend too much time sitting. In an article by the “New York Times, James Levine, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ran an experiment on the topic. He controlled the diets and prohibited any exercise of subjects who donned motion tracking devices. He found that age, gender, and even weight were not as impactful as simple movement on the subjects’ weight gain. Those who spent as little as two additional hours sitting down gained more weight than those that spent that time with casual activity.

After reading this and truly considering how much time you probably spend sitting each day, these facts can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, we’re not going to leave you sitting down. Mayo Clinic offers five helpful tips to help people who hold regular desk jobs become more active, as well as videos on stretches and exercises you can do in the comfort of your office.

  1. Make your morning commute as active as possible
  2. Look for opportunities to stand up
  3. Take breaks for fitness during your regular work day
  4. Trade your office chair for a fitness ball
  5. Keep basic fitness equipment in your office

How We Choose to Stay Active

Here at Evolve, we make it a point to shake it up once in a while. With our affinity for foosball, cornhole and an indoor fitness center at our disposal, we take advantage of opportunities to take quick breaks and get moving. Even a simple stroll to the water cooler or standing rather than sitting during short meetings can make a big difference. Our group activities also give us a chance to interact and socialize, which makes us better colleagues and teammates.

Staying active throughout the day will not only improve your health in the long run, it’ll keep you feeling better on a daily basis. Just take it from the guys at “The Office.”