We think of our grandparents to be at a stage of life where a sedentary afternoon spent sitting down is understandable and acceptable. Yet with the growth of digital technology at the workplace, sitting still for long hours is no longer reserved for the elderly.
Recent research from Edinburgh shows that many desk jobs lead office workers to spend up to thirty minutes more sitting down each day than members of our retired population. That means most of us with desk-bound careers are more sedentary than those over 75.
The study revealed that middle-age men especially vulnerable to senior-level immobility, spending close to half an hour longer in their desk chairs every day of the work week. Working women under 45 are not far behind their male cohorts, spending only six minutes less than seniors sitting away the work day.
Don’t Let Your Body Take an Early Retirement
Take short, active breaks. Go for a walk. That pedometer app on your smartphone comes in handy for helping you realize how little you move. Use it to motivate extra steps throughout the day.
Engage with a standing desk workstation all day long. Standing up gets the blood flowing and keeps the body stimulated. When you feel that two PM slump coming on after lunch, stand up and work. The body intuitively associates stillness with sleep. Standing up with a sit-stand desk prevents you from nodding off like grandpa.
Stretch, bend, and move in place. You don’t have to run a marathon around the office to stay active. Use micro-movements like stretching exercises to stay flexible and keep feeling productive.