Technology has yielded the most transformative tools humans use today to increase productivity and efficiency at work. While these technologies have made everything instant and simpler for us, we are now leaning towards less physically demanding roles, thus prompting us to lead sedentary lifestyles.
We use computers and handy gadgets to navigate daily tasks, so we spend most of our time sitting, skipping the literal legwork, with as much efficiency. We tend to overlook the downsides of this trend because of the overwhelming benefits we reap from modern technology.
While turning back to the traditional and time-consuming ways is unwise, there are strategies we can use to maintain physical health as we fulfill sedentary jobs.
Understanding the Risks of Sedentary Jobs
Sedentary jobs come with risks that you need to acknowledge. The risks you need to factor in are as follows:
Engaging in sedentary jobs can lead to multiple health risks like obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Moreover, you will also be more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases and cancer, one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Because of the lack of movement, you could also suffer from posture issues, muscle strain, and poor blood circulation.
Other health consequences associated with sedentary jobs are lumbar spine and neck pain. When you work in front of the computer, you will also likely get isolated from others as you focus on your screen, possibly leading to depressive episodes and other mental disorders.
Increased Compensation Claims
On the employer’s side, another potential risk of sedentary jobs is increased employee compensation claims. Working individuals have two common choices: medicare advantage vs medicare supplement.
The Medicare Advantage plans may require lower premiums, but these only cover a limited network of healthcare providers. Meanwhile, the Medicare Supplement plans require higher premiums and offer flexibility in choosing your doctors and hospitals.
Make your choice based on your needs and budget. Take your time to review the coverage of each plan and factor in your preferred healthcare providers, medical conditions, and prescription medication requirements.
Consulting a Medicare counselor can help you come up with an informed decision.
Incorporating Movement into the Daily Routine
To minimize physical discomfort, you can perform standing and walking activities for at least two and a half hours daily. Frequent movement breaks can be done with an ergonomic space in your workstation. You can have mini treadmills and wheel pedals underneath your desk that you can use during breaks.
You can set the alarm hourly and do stretching and simple exercises to be reminded of the movement breaks. You can also take the stairs with your co-officemates or do walking breaks yourself.
You can also engage in active commuting practices like walking and cycling. It’s one great way to guarantee physical fitness as you arrive and log out from your sedentary work daily.
Ergonomics and Workspace Optimization
Choosing the suitable desk, chair, and office accessories that promote good posture and comfort is essential. This way, you can preserve the excellent condition of your muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and nerves. With ergonomic improvements in the workplace, you can guarantee increased productivity and morale.
Moreover, you can avoid potential injuries caused by the discomfort of awkward positions, affecting your musculoskeletal system. A safety committee at work can pinpoint the risk factors of the existing facilities in the office and suggest potential improvements in specific areas, thus creating a safe and conducive work environment for everybody.
Promoting Physical Activity Outside Work
Being aware that you’re leading a sedentary job, you should make efforts outside work to find enjoyable activities that incorporate movement and exercise. There are many fitness options available to you.
You can invest in gym memberships or enroll yourself in yoga classes. This should boil down to your individual preferences and schedule. You can also do weekend jogs or walk your dog early in the morning. Simple routines like these can make a big difference.
Mindful Eating and Proper Nutrition
When you routinely work in front of the computer, you are likely to consume food to hype your energy levels as you sit at your desk all day long.
These foods are likely unhealthy and instant. You might think these foods are ideal for you and your work setup, but you might miss the consequences if you stick to this unhealthy diet.
Remember that your eye health is essential since you use your eyes daily in your work. Make sure to add citrus food to your meals since they produce collagen in the muscles around your eyes. You should also consider foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins A, E, zinc, and lutein.
Your office could also be a breeding place for bacteria and viruses. Make sure to guard your immune system with probiotics like yogurt and citrus fruits, oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.
Stress Management and Mental Well-being
You have to acknowledge the connection between physical health and mental health. These two come together to help you become more productive in your job.
The good thing is that you can exercise many stress management techniques during work hours. The most effective strategy is to set realistic goals. By doing this, you won’t be pressured about the expectations of your boss and the deadlines as well. You should also be open to goal adjustments since unpredictable circumstances may come your way.
Furthermore, learn to say no when you think you can’t do a delegated task. Make sure to create a priority list. This way, you will know what you should do first and boost productivity on a personal level.
Besides the strategies mentioned in this guide, building a supportive work environment is essential in promoting physical health in sedentary jobs.
Team members should all advocate for workplace wellness initiatives, encouraging each other to promote physical health during and outside work hours. With the support of your colleagues at work, you will be able to foster a healthy work environment for everyone.