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Sit All Day? You Can Still Be Healthy

Let's face it: most of us are more sedentary than we want to be. We're desk-bound at the office, and sitting during our commutes. All this sitting is not exactly the best for your body. Not moving around translates to fewer calories burned throughout the day, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Sitting for more than eight hours a day can also cause back pain, a tense neck and shoulders, and leg cramps. Sixwise offers some tips on keeping your body and mind healthy while on the job.

  • Check your posture and your desk set-up. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, and if you type at a keyboard, your hands, wrists, and forearms should also be parallel to the floor. Make sure your chair is padded yet firm, so the natural curve in your spine is supported and you're not sinking into your seat.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is a big office buzz word, so you want to work on preventing this and other injuries by avoiding repetitive motions. If you use a mouse, purchase a new one that places your hand and wrist in a different position (like a vertical mouse). Try to rearrange the things on your desk often, like your coffee cup or your pens, so you have to reach for them with a different hand.
  • Just because you sit at a desk all day doesn't mean you're glued to your seat. Be sure to stand up and move around every 20 minutes or so, for at least 30 seconds. Do some desk stretches, take a walk to visit your co-worker, or go to the kitchen to refill your glass of water. Not only will this circulate blood to your muscles, but it'll also prevent boredom.

For more desk tips,


  • Don't forget about your eyes. Be sure to look away from your screen often to reduce eye strain, which can cause headaches. I like to close my eyes and do circle exercises. If you find your eyes are getting dry, blink often or keep some eye drops on your desk.
  • Check your desk and equipment for cleanliness. Even though it's only you using this stuff, germs and bacteria can move in and make you sick. So clean your mouse and your phone, dust off your desk and monitor, and disinfect your keyboard.
  • Ditch the snacks on your desk. Even if they're healthy snacks, you don't want to end up mindlessly reaching for bites. Pick a snack time and keep food in your desk drawer or the office kitchen. Not only will it give you a much-needed break from work, but taking time to eat will also allow you to really enjoy your food.


Join The Conversation
Deadly-Lemur Deadly-Lemur 8 years
I don't think a spider plant will do anything about computer rays (which I've never heard of?), but they will help keep the air fresher by pulling the carbon dioxide out of the air & producing oxygen. I like to get up & stretch a lot at work, I find that bending backwards over a desk or counter & holding it for 20-30 seconds helps with the lower back issues. And stretching my arms & hands straight up & doing side bends helps. Sometimes I also slide slowly down out of my chair, letting the seat push into my back to stretch it. But I never have to worry about anyone walking in & seeing me in a weird position (except my husband who would just think it's cute), so that might not be so helpful. If I've been staring at the screen too long I'll shut my eyes & hang my head backwards for a minute. It eases the neck tension and gives my eyes & brain a break. If I start to get a headache I firmly rub any tense spots on my face, usually around my jaw, above my eyes & the top of my forehead. A couple minutes of that can fend off a bigger problem later. Also like to take a walk around in the yard if it's slow, just to get some air & listen to the birds. A little sun & a nice breeze perk me up considerably, as does spotting a squirrel or goldfinch. Sorry for the long comment, this is something I fight with everyday. My computer is destroying my body. I so need a vertical mouse. =*(
bellanatella bellanatella 8 years
Thanks for the tips. Also, I heard it's good to keep a spider plant or something by the desk to help reduce the effects of computer rays. Is that true?
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 8 years
i go for walks around the building whenever it's not too hot. I also do leg lifts at my desk and keep a 3lb weight to work on my arms.
hottpink hottpink 8 years
I sit at a desk all day and my back has really started to hurt beucase of it. I try to get up as often as possible and my friend and I walk during our lunches but when it's 100 degrees out it's hard to get out there and walk!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I try to get up as often as possible... And I try to do a walk @ lunch (sometimes it's hard though because I use that time to study!).
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