Bad news: sitting at a desk all day is extremely unhealthy. Good news: it is totally fixable!
Studies have shown that sitting at your desk all day will literally kill you. This isn't one of those statements where "literally" is used instead of "figuratively." Sedentary desk jobs are really, truly deadly. According to Dr. James Levine, "sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting." Well, guess it's time to go tell your boss you need to jump out of a plane during your lunch break, for your health.
On a more positive note, the same health experts who informed us we're slowly dying while we attempt to read the entire Internet have issued a follow-up statement about how to fix the problem. Here's the big takeaway: if you work eight hours a day at a desk job, you should aim to stand or walk for two hours a day, and eventually get that number up to four hours. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Here, I'm going to say it one more time:
If you work eight hours a day at a desk job, you should aim to stand or walk for two hours a day.
Two hours a day? Who the heck do they think we are, Olympic athletes? Who moves around for two whole hours in a single work day unless they've escaped the office and are running away from their job forever? Oh, and in case you missed the second part, please read that part again, too:
Eventually get that number up to four hours.
WHAT?!?! Scientists want us to spend HALF of the entire work day MOVING OUR BODIES? How is that even possible? OK, now that I'm done screaming, here are some simple ways to stop your body from slowly disintegrating into the ergonomic netting of your swivel chair:
Get a standing desk.
But where's the chair? (via Amazon)
Exercise balls are out, standing desks are in. These life-saving desks can be adjusted to either sit or stand, based on how long you plan on staying alive. I suggest wearing Crocs to give your poor little feet a stylishly soft cushion when you're using the upright option.
Try to stand up more in general.
Health experts suggest standing up to take phone calls, standing during meetings, and walking to colleagues instead of emailing them. Not only will this get your blood moving throughout your clogged arteries, but the change of pace is what helps increase your body's metabolism. And get ready for this doozy of a suggestion: hold walking meetings! Walking and talking creates a more open environment for idea sharing. Who knew?!
Set reminders to get moving.
It's best to move your squishy butt every 20-30 minutes, so setting yourself a reminder is the best way to make sure it happens. And, once you get a sit-stand desk, you can set a reminder to adjust the desk back up to it's standing, live-elongating position.
Leave for lunch.
It's easy to get caught up in work, and it feels like ordering lunch is the only option for getting everything done. However, if you're afraid you'll miss something while your gone, just remember to bring along the miniature computer that fits in your pocket!
Although I'm about to sound like a life coach/spin instructor, I'm going to say this anyway: let's all take these suggestions, get moving, and live longer, happier lives!