Six tips for when you’re feeling the pinch of working at a desk all day
03.08.2020

Six tips for when you’re feeling the pinch of working at a desk all day

WORDS BY CHLOE CICERO

Staying healthy can be difficult in the best of circumstances.

Whether you love or hate working from home, for most of us, it has become our new normal as the coronavirus pandemic forces more of us to work from the kitchen table or living room than ever before.

We all know that the more you move throughout the day, the better, right? And between long hours at a desk, responding to emails and commuting from your bedroom to the office in your house, it can feel impossible to take a break, let alone get 10,000 steps (or more) a day.

The good news is that just because you have a desk job, your posture and your health doesn’t have to take a hit.

We’ve come up with a few options – tried and tested – that might be able to help!

Get some Vitamin D
Yes, I am talking about the SUN. Sun rays encourage our body to produce serotonin, which helps regulate your mood. Its other benefits include bone health, supporting the immune system and helps protect against dementia and brain aging. So, what’s stopping you from going out and getting some much-needed D? Even if you just stand in the sun for a couple of minnies, it will do you a world of good!

Invest in a standing desk
I bet you didn’t know that standing desks are actually really good for you and your overall health. Benefits that we’re frothing over include weight loss (using a standing desk burns 50 calories an hour, woop woop); a reduction in neck and back pain from sitting all day; increased brain health (better concentration and productivity); reduces mental health symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, memory loss and feeling overwhelmed and it even boosts your heart health. So the less time you spend sitting, the more opportunities for you to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which means a lower risk of heart disease. Umm how could you possible say no to this?

You don’t even have to stand up day either. Experts recommend alternating between sitting and standing to avoid muscle strain. We recommend sussing out the range from Varidesk. Like they say, work smarter, not harder.

Take a yoga class
Whether you’re working from home or studying from the kitchen, yoga can help to undo some of the damage that we do sitting at our desks all day. Particular yoga classes target those areas of the body where tension can often build-up: upper back and shoulders, hips and lower back. You’ll also find classes to help you get out of your head and into your body – especially useful after a day in front of a computer. If you have the time, scheduling a yoga class in your lunch break is a great way to break up your sitting routine, as well as increase your energy and focus you for the rest of your day. And the best part is that now yoga studios are offering a tonne of online classes, available for you to stream throughout the day. We’ve been loving the classes from Geelong’s Upstate Yoga of late.

Go for a coffee run
Now, it’s entirely up to you if you actually want to run there, but a coffee run will get you some fresh air, exercise, and your caffeine fix, which is a daily necessity for most of us. It will also get you brownie points with the rest of your work team (*housemates*), so that’s an added bonus. If you don’t feel like stretching the legs, or getting out of your ‘work PJs’, we’d recommend taking a trip to your nearest Bean Squeeze! The coffee is top-notch!

Dance
I mean, why not? You’ll be getting much-needed exercise, putting yourself in a better mood, and might even interact with other co-workers who are also feeling the need to dance. So pump up your favourite Spotify playlist with banger tunes, and let loose for a little bit.

Take Hourly Breaks
Hours of working at your desk can take a toll on you body. Taking breaks helps you improve focus, apparently improve performance, and help you from feeling mentally and physically drained after work. When we say take a break, we don’t mean going for a three hour drive, or retreating to your room for an hour nap. It could be in the form of simply making yourself a coffee, sitting down to pat the dog for five minutes, or having a quick scroll on your phone. We suggest having a quick scroll through the Dogs Working From Home Instagram.

However you take them, you’ll get more done and have more energy to stay active when you’re not behind the desk.

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When you’re the designated Zoom meeting minute-taker

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Go forth, and fight back!