Ways Busy Workers Can Stay Healthy During the Workday
During the 9 to 5 grind, answering emails, taking calls, and completing to-do’s are probably what’s at the forefront of your mind. But for busy workers, it’s important to stay cognizant of your body, and not let sitting for 8 or more hours negatively impact your health. Continue reading for easy ways to help you stay healthy and feel great, even on the most stressful days at work.
Go For a Walk During Your Break
As simple as it may seem, taking a 5 minute break to go for a walk can be one of the best things you can do for yourself during a long day at the office. Too much time spent seated can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, reduce blood flow to the legs, heighten your risk for diabetes, and negatively impact your mood. Studies have shown that getting out and taking a walk, even if it’s just 5 minutes at a time, helps increase circulation, elevate mood and reduce lethargy, improve focus, and enhance your overall health.
Take Opportunities to Stay Fit
We know that some days it can be hard to step away from your desk for more than a few moments. For those times, try these exercises to help strengthen your legs and ankles and keep the blood pumping:
- Perform the Ankle ABC’s – Just like it sounds, this exercise will have you spelling out the ABC’s with your feet. To do this, lift your foot off of the ground and keep it elevated in the air with your leg extended or place it over your other leg. For example, to stretch the left foot place your left over your right leg, with your left calf resting on top of your right thigh.
- Ankle Rolls – This is an easy exercise to do from the comfort of your desk while answering emails. Start by crossing your left leg on top of your right, with your left calf resting on your right thigh. Next, move your left ankle clockwise in a large, circular motion. Repeat this going counterclockwise, and then repeat with your other ankle.
- Heel Lifts – While seated at your desk sit up straight and keep your abs tight. Lift your feet slightly while keeping them parallel to the ground. Keep your toes pointing straight and your legs hip-length apart. Once you’re in the correct position, flex your calves upward.
- Take Bigger Strides – When you are up and walking to go refill your coffee or chat with a coworker at their desk, take greater strides across the office. Try walking briskly as well, as this can get the heart pumping.
- Use the Stairs – It may be tempting to hop in the elevator, but taking the stairs is a heart healthy way to get your steps in for the day. We’re not saying you have to take the stairs every time you need to get somewhere in your building, but commit to taking them a few times a day if you can.
- Stretch It Out – Next time you’re on the phone at work having a long conversation with a client, see it as an opportunity to stretch. For most of us, phone calls leave us hunched over our desk and downing coffee, but this can be an opportunity to help relieve some of the tension in your body. One armed hugs, calf raises, and seated tricep stretches are all easy to do while chatting with on the phone.
Wear Compression Socks
A little known secret for keeping your legs comfortable during the work day is wearing compression socks. When you’re seated for long periods of time, you’re at an increased risk for blood clots, ankle swelling, and leg pain. By applying gradual pressure to your legs, compression socks promote healthy blood circulation throughout your legs. This helps fight against blood clots and keeps the fluid in your legs moving to fight back against painful swelling and aches.
Don’t let the stresses of the daily grind get you down, because your 9-5 desk job doesn’t have to come at the expense of your health and wellbeing. During the workday, keep these tips in mind to improve your overall health and help you feel good throughout the duration of your workday.