The boom of technology has made our life’s tasks simpler. The jobs in today’s world are increasingly those involved with being behind desks on computers, or doing paperwork. However, unfortunately, these jobs demand that the employee sit for prolonged period of time at their desks.
Sitting for many hours at the desk can have harmful effects on the employee’s health. There are studies that establish that the reduction in physical activity in the workplace has been a significant factor in the rise of obesity epidemic. Those who sit for longer hours have higher mortality rate than those who sit for less hours.
The good news is that there are few tips and tricks which can help a person to remain active in his desk job.
Desk job Means:
A job that is desk based, which means an employee works from his desk on computer or doing some paperwork is typically a desk job. Compared to non desk jobs, desk job employees spend considerable hours of time on desk, working.
Staying active at a Desk Job:
1. Keep a perfect posture:
Research states that the set up of your workstation is capable to trigger a whole lot from headaches to tendinitis. You need to ensure that your mouse and keyboard are at a distance and height from your body, so that you are able to keep your wrists straight and elbows tight by your side.
Your screen should be straight in front of your eye level so that your neck remains straight as well. Erect body helps in maintaining concentration and reduces fatigue.
2. Sit down on a balance ball:
Instead of sitting on the poorly positioned office desk chair, go for balance ball. You need to make sure that the balance ball is tall enough and keeps your posture aligned with the tips above. When you sit on unstable surface, it helps to keep your core muscles activated throughout the day.
3. Walk instead of email, text or calling:
Instead of fidgeting for talking about something to a coworker, walk to them and talk to them face to face. You need to take advantage of any chance that you find to move from your desk, even if it is just for some time.
4. Walk meetings:
Sometimes it is not practical to do an actual walk meeting; however chances are that your colleague is as aware about the dangers of sitting at a desk for a long time as you and would take the opportunity for walk meetings.
During your next meeting you can either walk around the office or head outside the office, i.e. if weather permits. Bosses will be benefited too as this activity will boost some energy and awareness and will help spark creativity.
It is not necessary that you have to jog during your lunch breaks to compensate for the several hours you spent sitting. Involve in frequent movements such as stretching. Stretching at your desk like lifting both hands above your head or undulating your head from shoulder to shoulder. You can go for plenty of yoga poses that can be done at your desk which will help in releasing tension and stress from your neck as well as back.
6. Standing desk:
You can try standing at your desk for few hours of the work day. Activities like standing in the queue, doing house chores, walking to work can tremendously help in burning calories during the day. More than anything just standing and working at your desk can be a lot of help.
7. Go for an actual lunch break:
These days’ people have started working through lunch hours and thus have trimmed to shorter and shorter hours of lunch breaks and it is even close to non-existence. Also, taking a break for 15 to 30 minutes and not sitting at your desk will be helpful in the boost and maintenance of energy level during the day. Avoiding lunch breaks can evidently reduce your creative ability, thus take that break.
8. Take short walks:
You can trim your waistline by regular walking. It can reverse the adverse impacts of sitting and improved your total health.
9. Arrange the office for movements:
Rather clustering all the things in your office into a single space, within arm’s reach, you can allocate the things in different spaces. This will make you move everytime you need a thing during the day and will create an open office space.
10. Wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable:
Studies have confirmed that wearing comfortable clothes and shoes to work will encourage you to move. It is easier to be more active when you are not wearing a stuffed suit or uncomfortable shoes.
How to Make a Desk Job Fun:
1. Clean the desk up:
To have a better experience on your desk, first thing you must do is clean it up! Get rid of items that you feel are not useful to you and are adding up to the cluttered desk.
2. Put in some pictures:
It will be refreshing to see pictures that remind you of good fun times. However you need to keep certain things in mind while putting up pictures. You should not overdo, three to four pictures of your family would suffice. Hang decent pictures as you also have to maintain professionalism at your desk.
3. Keep a candy jar:
It is enjoyable to have a candy jar on your desk and you will find your coworkers wanting to stop by your desk. You and your coworker can have a pleasant chat while you and the coworker enjoy your candy. A candy jar will be able to get some color on your desk too. For a healthier option, you can keep dry fruits in the jar like cashew nuts or almonds.
4. Collaborate artwork:
In case you have artistic pictures or professional photos you can keep them on your desk. You can even utilize your souvenirs on your work desk. This will bring the creativity in you and create peaceful and imaginative ambient around your desk.
5. Decorate your desk:
You can decorate your desk with funny quotes, toys or sculptures. Enable your desk to reflect your personality. Have a chalk board or whiteboard where you can write up or scribble silly thoughts or expressions that suggest how your day is passing. You can keep yourself and others amused by this practice.
6. Play games:
You can make use of recycled papers to make a paper bomb which you can launch at other desks or a target in your space. The more accurately your paper bomb falls you can give yourself points to keep up the fun. You can even play daydream games where you can totally distract yourself from the real world, and have no limits for thoughts or situations and have no real bad consequences.
7. Desk dancing:
Music can be very effective energizer. You can occasionally sing to yourself or listen to music and move your body or groove. In case you are sitting on a swivel chair, you can do endless shimmies and spins, doing this activity just for a minute or two will be sufficient to revive.
8. Desk singing:
You can either listen to uplifting, upbeat songs or sing to yourself chorus from your favorite song, which will help you to relax, take in fresh air and lift your spirits.
9. Desk toys:
You can have toys on your desk that you can easily pick up and start playing with. Stress balls, yo-yos, skipping ropes, whoopee cushion etc will help you to have fun while at desk.
10. Ring a bell or sound the hooter:
You can either ring a bell or sound a hooter when you achieve some success in your work assignments. Celebrate each of your successes with the whole office. This way the daily communication can be made interesting.
11. Desk drumming:
You can use hands, pen or pencil to drum on a surface and create a rhythm in what others can also join in. Make sure you are creating dynamic noises and not irritating ones. Again, make sure you are not dragging this activity more than two minutes.
12. Laughter times:
You can cut the monotonous day by initiating a joke telling session. Involve your coworkers in it and make the rest of them choose the best joke. You can even look for funny stuffs online and share it with your colleagues. This will only take five minutes and you will find yourself distracted from stress by laughing and releasing all kinds of tension. Keep the things relevant to work or children or make universal truth jokes, so that no one gets offended.
Desk Job Fitness Guide:
1. Control your commute mode to work:
Research has found that most of the people drive to their workplace. However you can look for more healthier and active options available for getting to work and back. You can walk or run or bike to your workplace if it is close to your home. Doing so make sure you have proper hydrating and weather gear with you. If you have convenient public transport route for your work from home, opt for that.
2. Make food choices health-consciously:
It is important for any human body to not skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast will control hunger and energy throughout the day. Bring your lunch from home as frequently as possible. You can also go out for lunch some times with your coworkers to maintain the office bond. Avoid intake of caffeine and incorporate low sugar juices as well as water in your daily routine.
3. Maintain movements during the day:
Meet people face to face by walking to their desk and talking about work. You can make trips to the printer, copier or water tank. Avoid desk trash bin so that you get up to throw trash at a central bin. Take all the opportunities to stand when you can.
Use your lunch break hour to walk outside the office building or go for a walk to take in fresh air. Tapping your pen, swinging your chair and tapping your toes can also help in maintaining movements.
4. Go for sitting exercises:
Moving your body as you sit and doing lower body exercises can help more than keeping your body motionless. You can kick in the air to stretch your leg and straighten them. Lift each knee up and stamp as if you are marching on the spot. Heels up and then toes up will help in warding off deadly blood clots generating from sitting for prolonged time. Shoulder rolls are another exercise you can do to release the tension from your neck.
5. Take the stairs:
Instead of the elevator, go for stairs and run up them. It is a simple but very effective activity that can be incorporated in your daily routine to work. It will compensate for the long hours that you consume on sitting at your desk. It will help in maintaining your heart rate level, body movement and blood flow.
6. For hours of typing:
Hours of typing can give you sore hands or fingers or the carpal tunnel syndrome. Try nerve glides like stretching your arms behind your back. Use a rubber band to slip it around all the five fingers and draw it outwards against the resistance of the band. Go for hand massages by yourself or ask someone else to give it to you.
7. Say no to sweet snacks:
If someone at office offers you a treat of sweet snacks like doughnuts, pastries or cookies simply say, “no thanks”. In case you are really hungry, go for dried nuts and fruits.
8. Turn phone sessions into exercise:
If you are emailing someone or texting, walk around while doing so. If you are calling someone walk while you talk. Make sure whenever you reach for your phone, you are turning it into a time to stride around.
These are the tips and tricks are very effective to help you become active while you are at your desk job. The above tricks will help you maintain your body weight and have a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying your desk job. The fun and enjoyable tips mentioned above can really turn the whole desk job experience very exciting for you.