stretching at office desk

Staying in shape and taking care of physical health when you have to spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week sitting at a desk in front of a computer may seem impossible. While it’s the reality for most people who work in an office setting, and not the most optimal situation for health, there are things you can do to reduce strain, injury and to stay healthy while at the office.

Here are a few things you should start doing right away.

Ergonomic Upgrades

While most would consider working at an office safe, there are some serious health effects that come from the long seated hours and repeated use of your fingers on a keyboard that shouldn’t be ignored. Instead, swap out items you’re using daily for ergonomically designed options for better support and comfort. Gel mouse pads for example, provide ergonomic support for your wrists because they contour to the wrist’s natural curve and movement and as they do so, reduce stress that leads to repetitive motion disorders. The same is true for the seats we’re planted in throughout the day.  Chairs designed to provide proper lumber support to your back can relieve pressure points and discomfort while helping you to sit up straight and feel less fatigued. Foam seat cushions can also absorb motion to make it more comfortable to sit for long periods of time.

Change Positions

Sitting for too long also comes with danger. Studies have shown that an extremely sedentary life can even lead to early death. Use a standup desk, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up and take a quick walk around the office, do what you must to get moving and blood circulating. A standing desk is also a great option for reducing sitting time. Did you know you burn 50 more calories when standing versus sitting? It’s worth putting in the request for a new desk. Plus if you set the height just right your eyes will strain less looking at the computer and you’ll notice less neck cramping.

Limit Snacking

It’s easy to find yourself nibbling on snacks when your office provides a vending machine full of goodies or if the kitchen is always stocked with treats. Even if you avoid the temptations, sometimes when the mid-day lull hits or you’re under a tight deadline, you cave in. But snacking is actually the wrong choice to make. Instead try meditation or taking a quick stroll to clear your mind and regroup. The added calories don’t just harm your waistline, the sugar can fog your brain, cause you to crash before the end of the day and actually zaps energy levels.

Making these simple changes can have a big impact on your health. As you incorporate the healthier practices, you’ll not only start to feel better overall, but you’ll even notice greater motivation during your work day.