by Diet.com contributor Erica Moss
We have become a largely sedentary society. Our culture dictates a great deal of sitting in one place for long lengths of time, and this really isn't something our bodies are designed for. Evolution hasn't caught up with the rapid changes that we, as a species, have gone through in our culture, habits and daily lives. Still, the sad fact is that sitting in one place is an unavoidable part of many people's days.
Strategies on how to maintain a higher level of general well being during this forced immobility are critical to maintaining good health. Fortunately, adding a few healthy habits into your daily routine can make a huge difference on your overall health, weight and happiness. Here are a few tips on how to make small changes that can have a big impact!
1. Take frequent walking breaks
Make sure you get up for at least five minutes every hour. This doesn't mean that you have to go to the bathroom or make a big production out of it. Just get up and move around. Stretch your arms and legs, take a quick walk around your office and go look out a window. Do't just focus on your major muscles, either; make sure you focus your vision on objects far away to give your eyes the necessary break from staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.
2. Drink more water
Dehydration is insidious. Most of the time, you don't "feel" dehydrated, even though studies have shown that many people suffer from chronic dehydration. While you're taking that five-minute break, go get yourself a glass of water or a sip from a drinking fountain. (No need to waste your money on bottled water; get something refillable!) Make sure you're drinking at least 64 ounces of water during your workday.
3. Try an exercise ball
For some time during your day (or your whole day if you're feeling adventurous), swap out your office chair for an exercise ball. Exercise balls encourage good posture and give you a slight core workout as you sit on it because you are forced to use certain muscles to stay upright. Plus, bouncing is stimulating and fun!
4. Have healthy snacks nearby
Don't rely on the (generally horrible) office vending machine to keep you fed. Bring a healthy, light snack to munch on at your desk. Raw vegetables are perfect, or plain nuts (avoid over-sweet trail-mix or other sugary snacks). Make it easy, tasty and cheap.
5. Consider the ergonomics of your workstation
If you have access to someone in your company who specializes in ergonomics, ask them to check out your workstation setup. If not, do a quick search on basic ergonomic principles and see how your setup stacks up. Making simple changes like adjusting your monitor height, your chair height or your keyboard tilt can have a large impact over the hours a day you use these things and can have profound long-term effects on things like joint health and eyesight.
6. Switch up your scenery
If you have access to and can work on a laptop or tablet, change your scenery once a day or so. Work from a different spot in the office, outside (weather permitting), or from a coffee shop or other co-working space if your job allows it. The exercise and stimulation of changing scenery can be beneficial to both your health and your levels of motivation.
7. Try a standing desk
Some may consider them radical, ... Continue
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