Sitting for Prolonged Periods: Impact on Health and Well-being
The way we work has undergone a significant transformation in the last few years. With the rise of remote work and the increasing prevalence of adjustable-height desks, more people than ever spend long hours in front of a computer screen at home. Unfortunately, the hours of sitting in front of a computer screen can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental well-being.
There is a simple solution, much like the recommendations when taking long flights: incorporating movement. Here we discuss the importance of integrating movement into the workday and provide examples of quick exercises you can do with your adjustable-height desk when working from home.
The Importance of Movement:
Sitting for long hours has been linked to various health risks, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, it can lead to muscle imbalances, poor posture, and back pain, impacting the quality of life and work. Mental health is also affected, resulting in decreased productivity, increased stress levels, and reduced cognitive function.
The Benefits of Incorporating Movement
Incorporating movement into the workday offers numerous advantages:
1. Improved Posture:
Movement engages different muscle groups, preventing stiffness and tension from prolonged sitting in one position.
2. Enhanced Brain Function:
Increased blood flow and oxygen circulation through movement promote mental clarity, focus, and productivity.
3. Boosted Mood and Well-being:
Physical activity helps reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being.
Below are ten exercises, at both sitting and standing positions, that you can incorporate throughout the day. With beflo, we have considered this an essential part of the workday and incorporated this into our design. With the beflo app or touchscreen on the bottom-right corner of your desk, you can set timers and reminders to stand from the seated position and use it to develop a movement schedule.
Ten Quick Exercises for Your Sit-Stand Desk
These exercises can be easily incorporated into your workday:
1. Desk Push-Ups:
Place your hands on the edge of the desk, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest toward the desk by bending your elbows, then push back to the starting position. Repeat for a set of 10 to 15 repetitions.
2. Seated Leg Raises:
Sit upright in your chair, lift one leg straight out before you, hold for a few seconds, and lower it back down. Alternate legs and perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg.
3. Chair Dips:
Position yourself on the edge of your chair with your hands gripping the edge on either side of your hips. Lower your body down by bending your elbows, then straighten your arms to return to the starting position. Repeat for a set of 10 to 15 repetitions.
4. Standing Desk Stretches:
Stand up, stretch your arms overhead, interlace your fingers, and extend your spine. Lean to each side to stretch your oblique muscles. Additionally, stretch your hamstrings by placing one foot on the desk's edge and gently leaning forward.
5. Calf Raises:
While standing, lift your heels off the ground and rise onto the balls of your feet. Hold for a moment, then lower your heels back down. Repeat for a set of 10 to 15 repetitions.
6. Shoulder Rolls:
Sit or stand with relaxed shoulders. Roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion for ten repetitions, then reverse the direction and roll them backward for another ten repetitions. This exercise relieves tension in the neck and shoulders.
7. Standing Hip Abduction:
Stand beside your desk, hold the edge for support, lift one leg to the side, and lower it back down. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg.
8. Desk Side Bends:
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place one hand on your hip and reach the other arm up and over your head, bending to the side. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.
9. Desk Planks:
Place your forearms on the desk, shoulder-width apart, and step your feet back into a plank position. Keep your body straight from head to toe, engaging your core muscles. Hold the plank for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or as long as you can maintain proper form.
10. Desk Squats:
Stand in front of your desk with your feet hip-width apart. Lower your hips back and down, as if sitting back into a chair, while keeping your chest lifted and your weight in your heels. Pause when your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push through your heels to return to standing. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions.
These exercises are for quick and efficient bursts of activity during your workday. Aim to perform these exercises regularly throughout the day, taking short breaks. However, it is essential to always listen to your body and adjust the movements to your comfort level.
Incorporating movement into your workday is crucial for maintaining your physical and mental well-being, especially when working from home. By implementing the exercises mentioned above, you can actively combat future health concerns and issues from prolonged sitting and improve your overall well-being.
Remember to incorporate these exercises regularly throughout the day, taking short breaks to stretch and engage in physical activity. By prioritizing movement, you can create a healthier work environment and enhance your productivity and overall satisfaction with work. Take the first step towards a more active workday and unlock the numerous benefits that movement can bring to your life.