Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Making your desk job healthy!

Published:Monday | July 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Rochelle Keane, Lifestyle Writer

Being a couch potato at home is bad, so why become a potted plant at your desk at work?

The fact that you go running in the mornings or go to the gym after work, is absolutely no reason to sit at your desk longer than you sleep. You get approximately six to eight hours of sleep, and then sit at your desk for eight to 10 hours for the day. Do you realise that makes your body inactive for approximately 16 of the 24 hours of the day?

Men, when you go to work, it is possible for you to become so consumed with the 'things to do' list that you do not even realise you are being physically targeted to develop health conditions by your own actions.

Did you know your desk job could increase your chances of being affected by cardiovascular diseases?

According to medical doctor Cynara Smith, the state of sedentary (being seated for extended periods of time; somewhat inactive with little or no physical exercise) can increase the chances of obesity, which can also directly or indirectly increase the risk of diabetes in a person.

With regard to cardiovascular disease, heart and blood disease, there are numerous issues that can arise from this condition. Relating closely to atherosclerosis, which is a condition that comes from a build-up of plaque in the walls of the arteries, that in turn narrows the arteries and makes it hard for blood flow. If not treated, with lifestyle change or medically, this can develop into a blood clot that stops your blood flow. Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, heart valve problems can all be related to cardiovascular disease.

This information is a mouthful, but it's all true. Can you imagine all of that happening in your body because you decide that you cannot leave your desk to take a walk up and down a flight of stairs or get up and stretch to touch your toes for a count of 10 just to get your heart pumping?

People may look at you strangely, but who cares. Your health is your wealth, get up and do something to get that blood flowing.

You know that back pain you feel at the end of the day? Please do not go for a pillow to put at your back to ease the pain - go and stretch and get those lazy bones moving.

Chiropractor Dr Cal B. Whitworth suggests that if you experience neck or back pain when seated at a desk looking at a monitor, to put the monitor in a different position to alleviate the stress on your neck.

He encourages you to move around the items on your desk a little to give you relief. Change your chair to suit your back, do not go looking for a chair to give you back problems. Every few minutes, take the time to stretch those limbs and back to make sure you don't let them become stiff, because that will only make you feel worse at the end of the day.

Flex Tips:

You only need 10 minutes. You take one hour to eat lunch, but throughout the day give yourself those little moments to make your blood flow.

Gym instructor from Ript Gym, Delroy 'Wayne' Williams, has a few flex exercises to do while on the job. For some of them, you need space, so find a corner, others you can do right at your desk.

1. Squat

2. Twists

3. Side bends

4. Jog in the spot

5. Jumping jacks

6. Deep knee bends

7. High knees

8. Jump rope

Leave the office and go outside, do a few minutes of any of these flexes, and you will not only relieve and release your muscles and heart, but a little de-stress can go a long way. With your blood pumping right and oxygen going to the brain, you will be surprised how much work you will complete when you return to your desk.

Take the time and make the decision to move!

Fact: We live very unhealthy lives

Fact: Overtime is real

Fact: Going to the gym for two hours is not good enough.