Scientists believe that sitting for more than 6 hours daily can be as bad as smoking one pack of cigarettes every day. The human body was designed to move and sitting is a new concept to our physiologies. By sitting you’re not only shaving off 7 years of quality life, you’re increasing your heart disease risk by up to 64%. Even Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has acknowledged it. He even said that part of the reason the Apple watch can help you become so fit is by informing it’s users if they haven’t been active enough during the course of an hour.

So, what about the millions of American’s that sit for 8 hours a day working behind a desk? Exercise can be hard to fit into the schedule of your typical 9-5er, so we’ve come up with a few ways to combat this unhealthy habit that could end up taking years off your life.

Spice Up Your Work Routine

Boring desks are a thing of the past. Recently, many companies have been switching over treadmill desks. These special desks are designed to go slower than the average treadmill but can help you get active by adding up to 10,000 steps in your daily count. For health nuts, this may sound like a dream come true. You can burn a few extra calories while getting all of your work done.

For others, meaning most people, this sounds horrible. A treadmill is bad enough as is but doing it for extended periods of time and having to work while attempting to not fall off the treadmill sounds even worse. But to each their own.

If you don’t want to move while working but are still looking to get your blood flowing, maybe a standing desk is the option for you. We’ve already mentioned how sitting for hours on end isn’t the best thing you could be doing, but by doing so you can damage your heart and vascular function. Standing can help limit this damage and reduce risk for certain diseases.

Standing desks aren’t necessarily a cheap route to go, especially if a company is purchasing them for each employee. Although they may be a good investment for your boss because according to IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, standing desks benefit productivity up to 45%.

Take a Break

If switching out your desk isn’t an option, try taking a break every hour to stretch. Walk around the office. Go chat with your favorite coworker rather than emailing. Go downstairs to grab a coffee. Whatever you can do to get your body moving around the office every so often can benefit you by getting your blood flowing.

Stretch

Most of us have experienced it. Your back starts to ache, your neck is stiff and your shoulders have rolled forward. If you have your own office (or aren’t easily embarrassed) try one of these desk friendly stretches that helps the stiffness that comes from sitting all day:

Tiny Dancer:

While sitting, take one arm up over head and reach it towards the other side. Try to make you’re keeping your back up right, shoulders relaxed and your neck nice and long. Hold for 10 seconds while taking a few deep breaths and then switch sides.

Bobble Head:

Gently take your hand and grab the opposite side of your head. GENTLY pull your head towards your shoulder. Switch sides.

Soggy Pretzel:

Cross your leg placing your foot on the top of your thigh. Gently push down on your knee to stretch the hips and glutes. As you push down, exhale slowly. Hold for about 10-15 seconds before switching sides.

Idunno:

Take a big deep breathe as you shrug your shoulders and lift them up towards your ears. Hold for a couple seconds and then release as you exhale. Do this a couple times. Before you switch sides shake your head yes, no, side to side to really loosen up the muscles up there.

Carpal No More:

Sitting and typing for hours on end can cause stiffness and cramping of the wrists. Try to roll your wrists out at least once every hour. It’s pretty self-explanatory but just in case you need some direction: roll the wrist 10 times clockwise, 10 times counter clockwise.

Need a bit more? Once you’ve rolled everything out, extend your arm all the way out in front of you, fingers facing up with your wrist flexed. Grab your fingers with your opposite hand and gently pull backwards.

Sit Smart

If you must sit majority of your day, make sure you’re sitting properly. Shockingly there’s a technique to sitting on your…chair…all day.

  1. Make sure your hips are between 90 and 120 degrees. Your feet should be resting on a floor or a footrest.
  2. Do not type without supporting your forearms. Your keyboard should be in line or lower than your elbow joint to reduce strain on the wrist, elbows and shoulders.
  3. Support your back. If you need to, use a pillow to make sure you’re avoiding stress on your lower back and neck.

Author Biography:

Edgar Den Uijl is a health enthusiast, marketing manager and a creative writer for FIT Roller. When he is not watching boxing or enjoy Soccer you can find him traveling and enjoying his leisure time relaxing.