Sitting is a killer. Humans, it turns out, are designed to be up and active throughout the daylight hours. But almost everyone in tech (and in all sorts of other industries, too) spends the majority of their waking time in a chair. Your back and other parts of your body are certainly not thanking you.
Unless you’re willing to give up your great, super-well-paying job in the tech sector, though, there’s not a lot you can do about sitting all day long to perform your essential duties that are so very vital in advancing the lot of humankind. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to stay healthy while stuck at those banks of computers all day long. Here are the top three you can do right now.
Up and Out
Let’s start with the most basic advice anyone needs to be healthier while desk-bound for the greater part of the day. It doesn’t require anything other than getting out of that chair every 15 minutes or so and talking a brief walk around the office — or jog, if you dare. Some suggest that even getting up out of the office chair and moving about every five minutes is beneficial. But at least if you’re doing something and not sedentary the entire time you’re at work, you’re still helping to improve your health.
For that time you are stuck at your desk and can’t escape for a brief stroll, consider various devices that can help keep the blood flowing while you’re there. These days, there’s an array of affordable gadgets that can help out, including mini pedal exercise bikes that you can use to keep fit and healthy in the confines of your own office space. Office chairs can even be made with an exercise ball as the seat, so you can work out your core while working on that latest algorithm update. You don’t absolutely need any of these devices, of course — simple neck and leg stretches while seated will also do the trick.
Vape, Not Smoke
OK, so you won’t be able to smoke at your office desk — unless you’re a remote worker and do so in front of your home office computer. But you’d be doing yourself a massive health favour if you switched to vaping. Think you might not be able to kick the habit with electronic cigarettes you can get from a good online vape shop? As the UK health service advises: “E-cigarettes are particularly effective when combined with support from local stop-smoking services — people who choose this route have some of the highest quitting success rates.” You’ll still get the nicotine hit you’re after, but none of the many toxic chemicals found in burning tobacco. Plus, there’s the added big bonus of tons of exciting e-liquid flavours, with different flavours stacked to the ceiling at all vape shops.
There’s lots of other things you can add to your work routine so you don’t become a slouch. Going for a quick 20-minute run around the office block during lunch hour, for example, is a great way to stay in shape, as is choosing what food you eat at the office. Try and make it clean and cut out all manner of processed foods and drinks (make them night before, so you’re not tempted to buy) and avoid snacking on such unhealthy items as crisps and chocolate while working at your desk. Bring along a bag of fruit and nuts that you can munch on and nibble to ward off those hunger pangs.
As more and more employers are discovering, healthy and fit employees perform better than those who are neither. It results in an marked increase in productivity and fewer days off due to illnesses like colds and the flu. It can even help to make you brainier, and more creative — who wants that upcoming promotion with the huge salary increase?
Don’t forget your journey to and from work, either. If it’s not that far, don’t drive but walk, jog or cycle. It’s better for you, and the environment. A company in New Zealand has announced a scheme where it’s paying its staff to bike to work. As the boss said, “My gut instinct is that it could be something really good for the workplace. I know for myself I show up feeling a lot more energised, my blood is already flowing.”