Being Active At Your Desk

A blog post by Alma Tang

When being behind your computer all day, a full work day can catch up to you so quickly. It happens to me all the time. Once those creative juices start flowing and I get in the groove, or I get so focused on completing my rocks for the day or finishing my latest online course, the next thing you know, I’m 8 hours in and realize I’ve been sitting at my desk the whole time and have neglected my health. At the end of the day, I feel like my body is stiff, my brain feels fried, and I feel a bit lethargic.

Sitting immobile in front of your computer can lead to a long list of long term issues, poor circulation, lack of antioxidants being released, poor posture, varicose veins (eeks!) and increase of stress, just to name a few.

While it is important to fit higher intensity workouts around your schedule, it is equally important to be mindful of your health during your day. Here’s a few things you could do throughout the day to keep your body healthy.

The obvious – Stretch, Stand often, Take the Stairs

It is extremely important to stimulate blood flow and sitting behind your computer all day can lead to blood clots and poor circulation. Doing stretches or standing often can do wonders to your body, and it's such a simple task. And those boring cement walls and circular stairs in your building do provide more than an escape route during fire drills. The stairs can get that heart rate going and will help burn those calories. So, when you’re heading for that coffee run, or grabbing a lunch, use those stairs.

Desk workouts

There’s a plethora of desk workouts out there and finding the one that is best suited for you (and works in favor of your outfit choice for the day) is only a quick google search away. You don’t need fancy workout machines or a mini gym setup by your desk to get a simple workout in. Using your own body weight or keeping some resistance bands nearby can raise that heart rate and keeps you from being sedimentary.

Be mindful of those desk snacks

I’m notorious for this since I love snacking. It may be easy to leave some bags of snacks at your desk but it’s easy to fall into the trap of unmonitored munching. For me, it’s those coconut clusters from Costco. My first mistake is bringing anything from Costco and their family sized bags. Healthy isn’t necessarily any better if you eat the whole bag. Try bringing portioned snacks instead.

Drink plenty of H2O

This ties in perfectly with my previous point. Staying hydrated is extremely important and so easy to neglect when all you want is more coffee. Drinking lots of water helps you feel full and can help prevent you from eating all those delicious munchies. Plus, it keeps that hard working brain of yours nourished.

Socialize

Chatting with your colleagues, clients and your team has so many benefits. Fun topics create laughter which in infectious and also creates a natural high. And it’s a great stress reliever.

Meditate

This one is not an obvious one, but doing a simple 5 minute meditation can do wonders for refreshing your mind. There are different methods for meditation and mastering the craft is no easy task. But simple meditation doesn’t require you to search for your Sensei. Simply close your eyes, do deep inhales and exhales and focus on your breaths. This easy form of meditation brings oxygen to the brain and clarity to your mind.

These are a few of the things I like to do to prevent myself from turning into a desk potato. All these can help boost your energy and focus throughout the day and keep your body and mind healthy during those long stretch of time at the office. I’d love to hear how you stay active at your desk.


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Alma Tang

Client Services Lead at Onlea