A Sedentary Job Doesn’t Have to Mean a Sedentary Life!
At our PT clinic, we see many hard-working patients with desk jobs—but it can be difficult to find time to stay active in sedentary environments.
Unfortunately, many people eventually realize that it is the sedentary nature of their work that directly affects their health and job performance.
Everyone needs to move a lot throughout the day. However, if you’re sitting for most of your working day, it’s essential to find a way to move more frequently.
Not only will regular movement help mitigate the risks associated with excessive sedentary behavior (such as back pain, obesity, and even heart disease), but research suggests that it can also increase productivity, mental focus, and job satisfaction.
Need some tips on how to increase physical activity? Check out these helpful ideas from our dedicated staff of physical therapists!
The importance of staying active throughout the day
According to PT in Motion News, 80 percent of Americans aren’t meeting physical activity guidelines set forth by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Finding the time or the motivation to exercise is difficult for many people.
Maintaining a high level of physical activity can possibly lengthen your life as well as improve the overall quality.
The truth, however, is that getting active can vastly improve your health, your comfort, mobility, and overall quality of life. That’s why it’s so important to stay active, even when you have a desk job.
5 steps to improve physical activity throughout the day
- Addressing past injuries. It’s hard to stay focused and comfortable at work if you’re in pain. And while we know that sitting for longer than 7 to 8 hours per day is associated with health problems, sometimes the idea of increasing your physical activity can seem like a huge obstacle. By consulting with a physical therapist, you can get underlying health problems diagnosed and managed. Our therapists use non-invasive, evidence-based techniques that work with your body’s natural healing power—it’s not just about masking the pain! Doctors of physical therapy can also prescribe expert guidance on ergonomic improvements around your office and can help you maximize your posture, core strength, and other elements of health so you can function better while on and off the clock.
- Use a pedometer. Research shows that wearing a simple pedometer (you can find super inexpensive options online and in sports retail stores) helps increase the number of steps you take per day. This kind of objective data can be inspiring and get you to move more frequently than you may otherwise. You may even consider getting some colleagues to join the “pedometer club” and create a little friendly competition to see who can get the most steps in throughout a typical work day or week!
- Use the office as your gym! Come up with ways to move more on and around your work area. Can you park farther away from the building? Allocate 10 minutes of your lunch break to a brisk walk around the campus or neighborhood? Take the stairs instead of the elevator? Walk down the hall to chat with your colleague or employee instead of sending an email or text?
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Staying well-hydrated on the job offers multiple benefits: it helps your tissues and joints stay healthy, it improves focus, it eases headaches, and yes—it will make you need to get up more frequently to use the bathroom!
- Do short exercises throughout the day. At least once per hour, pause what you’re doing and take a few minutes to run through some simple exercises or stretches. These can be done in the privacy of your own office or even out in the open (hey—maybe you’ll inspire your co-workers!). Ask a physical therapist to provide you with an individualized program that can address your specific needs and be tailored to your job duties.
Get moving with physical therapy!
If you’re looking for more ways to stay active, a physical therapist can help you. Don’t hesitate to contact Good Hands Physical Therapy today to get started!