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October 15, 2020

Ways to Stay Healthy with a Desk Job

Why Is Sitting Bad For You? We’ve all heard it. Sitting for long periods of time is not what our bodies were meant to do. But did you know that physical inactivity, especially sitting for long periods, has been linked…

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Home / Living with Diabetes / Ways to Stay Healthy with a Desk Job

Why Is Sitting Bad For You?

We’ve all heard it. Sitting for long periods of time is not what our bodies were meant to do. But did you know that physical inactivity, especially sitting for long periods, has been linked to increased mortality rates second only to smoking? According to research from the American College of Sports Medicine there is even evidence that sitting for long periods of time contributes to all-health causes of mortality. But don’t worry, we’ve got tips to help break up the work day with moderate activity.

For those that reported sitting for more than 23 hours per week combined, there was a 64 percent greater chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who report sitting for less than 11. American College of Chest Physicians even found a link between sitting at home during leisure time and suffering poorer sleep and decreased attentiveness during work the next day.

Although it is impossible to negate the effects of long hours of sitting entirely, there are many things that the average worker can do to help. We’ve got tips to help break up the work day with moderate activity. First, plan to break up the day into 30-to-60 minute chunks, separated by a short walk, stretch, or other activity. Finding ways to walk at work could be as simple as having a walking meeting or bringing in a standing desk or treadmill desk. There are simple stretching routines that can be performed unobtrusively in an office that can reduce neck and back pain by 72 percent, according to studies at the Wheeling Jesuit University.

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Tips to Keep Moving

Here’s US MED’s top tips to keep your body in motion during the work day:

  1. Use a pedometer and set a goal for the number of steps you take between 9 and 5. Hit that goal daily!
  2. Set an alarm. We all get busy, but an alarm will give you that reminder to take an important movement break.
  3. Stay hydrated. Of course, drinking water is wonderful for you but you know what? The more you drink the more you’ll need to get up to use the restroom. Win-win!
  4. Instead of sending an email, get up and talk to your co-worker. You’ll get steps in while forging a closer relationship with your colleagues.
  5. Park your car as far away from your office entrance as possible. Enjoy the small walk outdoors from your car to your office.
  6. Make the most of your microwave wait time. Try lunges, walking in place or squats while your food heats up.
  7. We mentioned it above, but a standing desk will force you to your feet for at least half the day. Ask your manager if you can put in an order for one today!
  8. If you’re taking a phone call, put it on speaker or headset and pace to keep your blood flowing.
  9. Walk to lunch. Find some spots that are within a mile radius of your office and walk instead of driving.
  10. Find a walking buddy. Grab a colleague and schedule 15-minute walks every day.

We hope these tips will inspire you to get moving during your workday. Get up from your desk and stay active–your health depends on it! If you’re ready to start an exercise routine, we’ve got a diabetes-friendly plan for you right here.

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