Friday, April 20, 2012

Working Is Bad for My Health

I sit at my desk  On days like yesterday, when I'm super sore and the weather is gorgeous, I long for a job where I could be outside and doing something physical.  If someone knows of a job in my area, let me know...but I only want to work when it's between 65 and 80 degrees, less than 50% humidity, and no rain.  Also, no strenuous manual labor and I would love to be able to bring Lola.  Oh, and a 6 figure salary would be nice.

Since my fantasy job likely doesn't exist, and if it did I'm sure the competition for the position would be stiff, I try to find ways to make my sedentary desk job a little more tolerable.

Drinking a million gallons of water a day is good for my health in more ways than one.  It keeps me hydrated and many other great things your can read about here, but the unexpected health benefit (for both body and mind) is the hourly 50 ft walks to the bathroom.  It requires me getting up from my chair and computer screen and getting my body moving.
When I return from each bathroom walk, I do a few stretches, holding each for 30 seconds.  Luckily, I have an office with a door that closes, so I can stretch in private, which is important since I often wear skirts to work and stretching sometimes involves compromising positions.

Source - Even with my office door closed, I steer clear of stretches like 7 & 11.

Also, I keep a dog toy I stole from Lola (a dense rubber ball with ridges) on my desk and use it during the day to work out knots in my legs, back, feet, and shoulders. 

My lunch break is short, at 30 minutes, but since I'm only about 5 minutes from home, I am able to drive there, scarf down lunch, and drive back.  Getting out of the office is good for me mentally, and I always have healthy options available at home. Usually, I throw together a salad.  Added bonus, I get to see this sweet brown face midday.  

My posture is awful.  In attempts to make myself sit up straight, I set an alarm on my phone for random times in the day to perform "posture checks".  If I'm sitting up straight, shoulders back against the chair, I get a pat on the back.  If my back is curved and I'm hunched, I straighten up.

I have read multiple blogs and articles about replacing your desk chair with a stability ball or creating a standing work station, and have considered both.  There have been mixed reviews, so I don't know if its worth the ridicule and judgement from co-workers.  Does anyone have any experience with either they would like to share?

Because I am sitting most of the day, regular exercise is even more important.  Unlike our grandparents generation, who were much less exposed to processed foods and were much more physically active in their day to day lives, we have little to no need to be physical for any reason other than recreation.

I've considered biking to and from work as another way to add activity to my day, but I don't own a bike (mine was stolen and I've never replaced it) and live in a very cyclist unfriendly area. Plus, there are probably only 4 days a year in southwest Louisiana when the weather is conducive to biking to work.  The other 361 days, I would be in desperate need of shower before my workday started.


Do you sit most of the day at work?  If so, how do you feel it's affecting your health?  How do you stay active during the workday?

1 comment:

  1. I like the posture checks- I try to be aware of that too but it's hard to always remember!