10 Easy Hacks to Undo a Day of Sitting at a Desk
Categories: Health

10 Easy Hacks to Undo a Day of Sitting at a Desk

Sitting at our desks isn’t the healthiest, but the good news is that it is possible to undo a whole day’s worth of damage. Here are 10 easy scientist-approved tips for reducing the health risks of sitting.

1. Break It Up

According to new research, it turns out you may not have to invest in a standing desk if you can just remember to move. Make sure you’re getting up at least a couple of minutes every hour. Walking is the best option, but even just standing up and stretching is better than sitting all day. (via American Society of Nephrology)

2. Take Ten

Walking for just ten minutes after sitting at your desk for eight hours can actually reverse the negative effects sitting has on our vascular systems, like sluggish blood flow and possible heart damage. So not only does walking make you feel a little better, but a quick stroll might also make you feel like that day of sitting didn’t even happen. (via Science Daily)

3. Visit the Water Cooler

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: Water is the key to feeling less sluggish after a day of not moving. Fitness pro Kayla Itsines points out that a hydrated brain will make you more productive. You don’t have to pass up the coffee, but try to make sure you’re drinking water too and you won’t leave the office feeling like your mind is in a fog. It’s easy to drink more water when it’s as pretty as this DIY flavored water. (via Allure)

4. Stretch Your Back Out

Get into the habit of doing some stretching or yoga at the end of your work day. Even just a few simple moves can make a huge difference in how your hips, core and neck feel. While you may feel the stiffness at the end of the day, the long-term effects of desk sitting can include more serious problems like back pain, neck strain, a weakened core, and knee issues. (via Refinery 29)

5. Fidget

Yep, that habit you got in trouble at school? Now that you’re all grown up, scientists are saying you should actually fidget more. According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, women who sit all day have a lower mortality rate if they are fidgety, compared to women who don’t fidget. (via Time)

6. Set a Timer

One recent study did a review of all the methods that reduce sitting time to find the ones that were actually most effective. They found that monitoring the time you spend sitting is highly effective in actually changing behavior. Once you become aware of how low your activity levels are, you are more motivated to make changes. Set a timer or get an app that tracks the way you’re spending your time. (via Health Psychology Review)

7. Start Small

The key to changing any habit is to start out with baby steps. Setting goals that are actually achievable will ensure you stick with them, so once you’ve decided to try sitting less during your daily schedule, researchers suggest starting out by standing up for one to three minutes every half hour. When watching television, stand or exercise during commercials. (via Annals of Internal Medicine)

8. Magic Formula

Before you go out and DIY a standing desk, know that one professor says that both sitting all day and standing all day are bad for you. Before you throw up your hands in exasperation, be comforted by the fact that his solution is to break up your activity during the day. In an interview with WSJ, Dr. Hedge suggested that for every half-hour of work you should sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight minutes and stretch or walk for two minutes. If you figure out how to incorporate this magic formula into your day, please let us know. (via The Wall Street Journal)

9. Try a Stability Ball

Since sitting (ahem, slouching) at your desk can really hurt your core and hips, sitting on a stability ball or another form of unconventional seating (no, couch doesn’t count), can be helpful in keeping you flexible. Studies have shown improved focus when sitting on a stability ball, so if you have trouble focusing at work, it might be a way to stay more productive and keep your joints flexible. Just be careful about your posture since sitting on astability ball can make it easier to slouch. (via International Journal of Obesity)

10. Get a Dog

Okay, maybe not the most feasible option, but since short walks are the easiest way to undo a day of desk work, wouldn’t having a furry pooch make those walks so much better? Studies have shown that people with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets, so if you’ve got a job that makes you want to tear your hair out, maybe it’s time to see what your office thinks about “bring your pooch to work” days? (via American Heart Association)

What tricks do you use to keep healthy at a desk job? Share your advice in the comments below!