#TACTIX :: Stay Healthy At A Desk Job
Tired and sore at your desk job?
If you are like me, you probably have a desk job. Much of my time is spent in front of a computer, at a desk, staring at a screen, hunched over, for very long periods of time, five days a week. I woke up one morning with severe pain in my neck and back. This turned out to be a pinched nerve caused by a narrowing of the disks. Most likely, this came from the long hours at a desk job. So, for those of us who want to live a healthy lifestyle, finding ways to stay healthy while at a desk job is as essential as the work we do.
The desk job fix
The key here is to find extra healthy activities and eating habits while at work. Sitting for long periods of time tends to lead to a lot of snacking, poor posture, and a sedentary lifestyle. Trying to commit to being active before and after work are helpful, but let’s also look at things you can do to stay healthy at a desk job.
Good posture at your desk
This is where a lot of our problems with a desk job exist. Working long periods at a time sitting in a chair in front of a computer can lead to poor posture, eye fatigue, bad snacking habits, and limited physical activity. The first step is to maintain proper sight lines. That means keeping your eyes at screen level so that your neck does not have to contort. Adjust your monitor and chair to put your neck and head in a comfortable position.
Staying ergonomically pure with your hands and wrists prevents serious joint and ligament injuries. Consider a cushioned wrist mouse pad to keep your mouse hand comfortable.
Most of us tend to lurch forward to type which contorts the spine to use our keyboard and mouse. Keep your back straight and your feet on the ground. You can use a lumbar pillow for your back to help keep you forward. Perch on the edge of your seat with both feet flat on the floor. A sit disc is helpful to assist with the perch position. If possible, look for an ergonomic chair that’s right for your size.
Stay hydrated and drink lots of water
Sure, many of us start the day off with a strong cup of coffee. But a few hours at the desk can cause mild dehydration which leads to moodiness and fatigue. So instead of drinking water, too many people start drinking more coffee and caffeinated products thinking they are just tired. Our bodies lose water continuously throughout the day. Even when you’re sitting all day, staying hydrated is crucial. Try keeping reusable water bottles near your desk. Some bottles even offer goal line marks to help assist you to keep with your hydration needs.
Get up and move from your desk
Go to the water station, walk to another office or building, do a spin around your office space every half hour or hour to keep moving. You can also do stretching exercises. If your office allows standing desks that are height adjustable, this is a great option to help you stay less sedentary when you’re working at your desk. When you need a break from sitting, just slide it up and stand. While standing, you can stretch your legs and arms as needed.
Take your lunch break and “better” snack breaks
Guilty. Whenever there is a busy project it’s easy to skip lunch to keep plowing through to finish. We’ve all done this. However, your body needs the nourishment from a good lunch and the break needed to be away from your desk for a little while. And during the in-between snack times, make sure you don’t load yourself with chips, sugary foods, and muffins. Make or buy some healthy snack foods, like carrots, yogurt, and rice cakes.
Staying healthy 9 to 5
Don’t forget, you also have the time before, after, and over the weekend to stay active. Make sure you utilize that time to offset that sedentary office time. Do use these tips to help keep yourself healthy during your desk job work life. Learn more about ways to improve your desk job habits at Chiropractix and receive adjustments to correct any current issues to get you back on your seat.