We all do it.
In fact, we probably all do it more than we should – but you may not have a choice in the matter depending on your job.
Sitting at a desk for hours at a time is just the territory for some jobs. But all that sitting is hurting your health in big ways.
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If you’re frustrated and feel there’s nothing you can do about it, you’re not alone. I mean, your job is your job, right? You have to sit at your desk, right?
Luckily there are some great alternatives and tips for mixing up your sitting hours. Here are 5 healthy tips to keep you from “just sitting there”:
This is a very simple way to get out of the sitting funk. Just stand! But before we get to the how, let’s get to the why. Compared to sitting all day, standing allows for better blood flow and circulation.
It’s better for your overall health. In fact, there was a study done by Stamford University on back pain that showed that those that stood at their workstation versus those that sat reported less back pain overall.
Standing at your desk isn’t just a gimmick – it really is better for your health and allows more movement and freedom to stay active and healthy.
So what are some options to make your sitting workstation into a standing one?
You could do something as simple as prop everything up. It may not be the prettiest solution, but it works for those on a budget!
Make sure to prop up the desk as well as the computer so everything is at a nice and neutral level. You want your shoulders to be relaxed, your wrists to be supported, and your monitor at a level that doesn’t strain the neck or eyes.
For the non-DIY-errs, there are a variety of products that make the switch to a standing desk super easy. One of our favorites is this simple standing desk. You can easily place it on your current desk and set it to the height that you require to stand comfortably while you work. Plus you can switch back and forth between sitting and standing. Super easy!
Pros: You can easily make these adjustments yourself with items around the house (boxes, pieces of wood, etc.) or buy a simple product to help achieve the standing desk. It’s an easy way to reap the benefits of standing and reduce the hours spent sitting.
Cons: Some people struggle with standing for too long. Their feet or knees struggle to stay up right that long due to being used to sitting. And Honestly, It isn’t Good for you to be in one Position for too long – Whether Sitting OR Standing.
Make sure to mix things up a bit, sit during a meeting or walk around the office during your break. One other thing that could help combat this issue is getting an anti-fatigue mat like this. This allows for more natural movement and ways to keep your joints mobile while standing.
2.Yoga Ball/Yoga Ball Chair
Using a yoga ball chair like this is another great alternative to “just sitting there”. A yoga ball allows you to have more fluid movement in your day, helps generate proper alignment and posture and helps activate different muscles in the body that regular sitting doesn’t allow. It’s a simple way to get in some daily core work, too.
Pros: Using a yoga ball can alleviate back pain, helps you stay more alert and active as you can roll, bounce, and more while you work. This freedom can also help with brain stimulation and creativity. Plus a yoga ball chair is an easy swap if your office doesn’t allow for big modifications to your current workstation.
Cons: Some people struggle to sit properly on a yoga ball and find themselves in bad alignment. For some who struggle with coordination, falling is a possibility. You also need to make sure the ball is properly inflated for optimal support.
3.The Treadmill Desk
This takes the standing desk one step further. Walking is so good for our health and many of us are not getting enough in. Most people are not getting the recommended 10,000 steps in a day – even those who think they are pretty active. A treadmill desk (like this) is a simple solution to keeping yourself “on the go” while getting work done.
Pros: Walking is less abrasive than standing still so this is a great alternative to those that find the standing desk too much. As you walk all day you burn more calories and are far more active. More active, more mobile, healthier.
Cons: The cost can be a bit much for some budgets, plus the noise and space can also be an issue for those in a group office setting. Another con is that treadmills don’t mimic natural walking. Instead of pushing off the back foot (as in natural walking), treadmills create micro “falls” that can be hard on your body.
I got myself a treadmill desk over 2 years ago and I absolutely adore it. I walk very slowly on it and can do 20,000 steps in one full day at my desk.
Here’s a photo of me on my treadmill desk:
4.Balance Board or Fluid Stance
Whether you combine one of these products with a standing desk or just keep them at your desk for times you take phone calls these are an easy option to keep you from sitting all day long. Whether you use a balance board (like this) or something a bit more subtle likes a Fluid Stance board, you are bound to add some fun to your day as well as some movement to your body.
Pros: These are small and unobtrusive. You can easily store them under your current desk and take them out when you are on a long phone call or taking a break. There are a variety of types to fit your needs and/or budget. They also pair well with a standing desk to help keep you from being in one position for too long. They are great for core support and strength, too.
Cons: They may take more concentration than you can give them depending on the type of work you do. This is something that could just take some practice and time, but you could run the risk of losing that balance and falling a bit or slacking on your work if you find yourself concentrating too much on balancing.
SomaFit is a simple, economical solution to the “sitting all day” problem. The short 5-, 10-, or 15-minute workouts are designed to break up your day and keep your body pliable and energized. The classes have been designed with you in mind so there’s no need for fancy equipment, workout attire, or ample amounts of space. If you have a body you are set to go no matter where you are.
Pros: Certified teachers helping you move better will do more for your body than any standing or treadmill desk on the market. There’s no need to buy expensive materials or get permission from the boss to change your workstation. Plus studies have shown that shorter workouts are just as effective as long ones, so you’re not just reducing your sitting hours – you are burning calories and getting stronger! And at just 9 bucks a month this is one of the most economical options available. (And hey, your first month is free, so why not try it out and see how you like it!)
Cons: You’ll need to set an alarm to remind yourself to do your hourly movement break. Although we have it on good authority that future developments of SomaFit will include notifications and alarms to make remembering your breaks easy.
As you can see there are many alternatives to just sitting while you work. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need fancy desks or chairs to change your habits. Be diligent about taking breaks to move and reap the benefits of switching out a sedentary lifestyle for a healthier, more vibrant one.
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