Spending long hours at a desk each day can negatively impact your health, and the effects are significant. As you type, talk, plan, process, budget and so on, it’s all too easy to remain sedentary. You probably are sitting mostly still throughout the day, all the while increasing your risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, research shows.
There’s a simple way to counter some of these ill effects. It’s also inexpensive and doesn’t cut into work time. Learn how to exercise at your desk — “deskercise,” as it’s called — and once it becomes a habit, you won’t even have to put much thought into it. You really can perform exercises at desk jobs, and they will negate some of the effects of being sedentary. Many of these exercises entail simple movements — sometimes nothing more than tightening certain muscles — and they can be performed at various times throughout the day.
The Real Dangers Tied to Sitting All Day
Doing exercises at your desk is one key way to keep your body active in the fight against being sedentary. Walking around the office when you can squeeze in a quick tour helps, too. Remaining sedentary can be harmful to such a great degree that it is best emphasized by statistics. According to various studies, those who are sedentary are at risk of suffering from a number of health issues:
- About a 125 percent higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease or related illness
- Up to a 66 percent higher risk of developing cancer
- A 90 percent higher risk of developing diabetes (when sitting exceeds 8 hours per day)
- A 40 percent higher risk of dying within 15 years (for older adults)
There’s no way around it — being sedentary for most of the day is harmful to your health. Performing a desk exercise every so often will break up the biological monotony of sitting still.
How Deskercise Works
Through the right combination of regularly practiced desk exercises, you can keep your body moving and active, even while working productively at your desk. Some exercises don’t even require you to leave your chair. While you’re working, you can exercise at the desk by squeezing muscles, and stretching body parts in a way that lowers the risk of suffering negative health effects. Increasingly make these exercises a part of your routine, and your productivity at the office will come with the bonus of improved health.
The accompanying infographic outlines five desk exercises to perform in your workplace.