Imagine a typical day in the office, responding to emails and answering phone calls, trying to cut down on your to-do list. Your brain is moving from one subject to another almost as quickly as your fingers on the keyboard. Unfortunately, the rest of your body isn’t doing much moving. If you sit at a desk every day like many other hard-working individuals, you may be more at risk for certain diseases.

Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting at a desk for the majority of a 40 hour (or more) work week may actually shorten your lifespan. Sedentary behavior is associated with an increased risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, both preventable conditions. Fortunately, there are ways to increase activity during your work day!

Every hour or so, get up out of your chair and walk around a bit and every so often take a minute to stretch. Set an alarm on your computer or phone to remind yourself to get up, use a pedometer to start tracking your steps at work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, schedule a walking meeting, or try a standing desk. Practice these little tips to improve your heart health! In addition, be aware of your body position during the day. When at your desk, set up your computer, mouse, and keyboard so you are sitting up straight with healthy posture with your elbows close to your body and wrists straight.

Did you know?

  • According to the CDC, office workers spend 65% to 75% of their workday sitting
  • 1 in every 3 employees is obese (BMI of 30 or higher), and another 40 percent are overweight
  • According to the American Heart Association, sedentary jobs have increased by 83% since 1950.
  • An average work week is about 47 hours, making 350 extra hours per year.

Deskercise – Tips for Staying Active at your Desk

  1. The Twinkle Toe – speedily tap your toes on the floor under your desk.
  2. The Patient Printer – do calf raises while waiting for your documents.
  3. The Stapler Curl – hold your stapler in one hand and work those biceps! Repeat for 12-15 reps.
  4. The Shoulder Shrug – bring your shoulders up to your ears and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
  5. The Fab Abs Squeeze – tighten your ab muscles for 5-10 seconds, then release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

View more deskercise ideas!


Sources:  American Heart Association, Huffington Post, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy