Staying active at your desk job

Whether it’s a 9-5 desk job or a busy class schedule followed by studying at the library, a sedentary lifestyle can be a deadly one.

The more hours an individual sits the greater likelihood of dying an earlier death regardless of how many hours spent exercising each day. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that inactivity is the fourth biggest reason for death in the world.

Breaks from sitting are needed, even if it’s for three minutes. Get up and get moving to help decrease the chances of developing heart disease. Don’t be afraid of what the boss might say. Workers who take three to five minute breaks every 60 to 90 minutes are more productive than those who don’t take a few minutes to be active.

Below are some easy ways to get active in the office or at the library.

  • Skip the elevator and escalator, take the stairs for an easy way to get moving.
  • With a half hour lunch, choose to eat for the first 15 to 20 minutes and walk for the rest of the time.
  • Wall Sits. Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold each wall sit for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Calf Raises. Simply raise your heel off the floor and slowly lower it back to down. Repeat on each side.
  • Leg Raises can be completed while sitting, or for more difficulty try when standing. Straighten one leg and hold for 10 seconds, lower the leg and repeat on the other side.
  • Can be done down a hallway or in place. Taking a wide step, lower knee to the floor and push back up to starting position.
  • Push away the chair and stand for a while. By placing a few books underneath the key board and tipping the monitor of the computer up can create a standing desk.
  • Have your own office? The possibilities are endless: burpees, push-ups and crunches are all doable.

Note, these can all be done in a shared office or at the library, just don’t be surprised if you get a few strange looks.

Amy Goblirsch is a registered and licensed dietitian with Sodexo at Saint Cloud State University.

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