Sedentary Jobs are a Silent Killer
Alright, buckle up, because I’m about to divulge some (not so) shocking truths about that job and what it is doing to you if you aren’t taking some rather important steps. Hint: It has to do with exercise tips for office workers.
The scene setting? Constant drone of printers (or did they all vanish suddenly?), clacking keyboards, endless cups of joe, and lots of people sitting in office chairs hidden in the labyrinth of cubicles that is an office. If your job includes a cozy chair and a computer screen, you’ve hit the sitting jackpot. We’re all gaining “professional sitter” status, myself included.
But wait. This isn’t as dreamy as it seems. Think of those horror movie plot twists. Sitting all day, shrouded in harmless comfort, ends up being a phantom haunting your health. Back pain lurking behind each long email, muscles slacking off, even those pesky extra pounds – all thanks to our full-time sitting gig that may or may not pay well. Yeah, sitting is hosting a never-ending horror show for your health!
But remember, every cloud has a silver lining, and ours comes wearing sneakers! I’m here to champion movement and activity. We’re not about to let some chair destroy us, are we? Weak glutes and poor hammies are huge contributors to back and knee pain, so let’s strengthen them. Low muscle mass means low self esteem and confidence, so let’s build those up. Whatever causes you weakness is an area that needs to be addressed.
The chair is comfortable, but comfort is the ally of complacency. Let me equip you with tools to dominate your day with healthy movement.
The Dangers of Snooze-worthy Office Jobs
Oh, office life! The thrill of sitting in the same chair for hours, staring at a screen until your eyes cross. Sounds fun, right? Wrong! And I know. The fascinating world of InfoSec is full of sitting, Googling, a lot of thinking, and boatloads of stress. It definitely isn’t so good for your overall health. If you’ve landed yourself a comfy office job, it’s time for a reality check on what it is doing to you behind the scenes.
‘Lazy’ Jobs: The Facts & Figures
Let’s dish out some stats for you to wrap your head around:
- 54% of American workers spend most of their day sitting (Not shocking, but YIKES!)
- 80% of jobs in the US are sedentary or require only light activity (Talk about a lack of moving and shaking!)
Where the US used to have a ton of manufacturing jobs, construction gigs, and other roles that required manual labor, today we have cubicle farms and remote work.
Now, remember those childhood pals named “Obesity,” “Heart Disease,” “Diabetes,” and “Certain Cancers”? They’re still around, and they’re just itching to crash your office party.
Stuck-in-the-Chair Woes: Hello, Health Risks!
When you’re cozied up in that office chair, sipping lukewarm coffee, just know that you’re inviting some unwanted guests. These annoying partiers have names, and they all start with “Health Risk.” Let me introduce you!
Obesity: Your new best friend when you’re glued to that chair. Calories aren’t burning themselves, and those extra pounds start showing up (uninvited, of course), especially thanks to office parties and all the donuts Earl from accounting brings in every day.
Heart Disease: Play your cards right, and you might avoid this one. But too much sitting and not enough moving can lead to high blood pressure, cholesterol, and all that heart-related stuff.
Diabetes: Sugar overload! Lack of exercise makes it harder for the body to control blood sugar levels. Combine that with all those random catered leftovers that show up after meetings in the break room, and you’re in for a sweet (but not-so-sweet) surprise.
Certain Cancers: And finally, meet the uninvited guest nobody wants at the party. Some studies show that spending too much time on your tush could increase the risk of certain types of cancer (whatever that incredibly accurate medical term means). Yikes!
So there it is. The truth about your not so exciting but generally well paying office job. Don’t get discouraged. Stand up, stretch, take breaks, and maybe sneak in a workout during lunch (seriously, give it a try). With a little effort, you can keep those pesky health risks at bay.
A Tale of Sitting’s Side Effects: The Not-So-Happily-Ever-After
I just went over some facts about that job, but here are some of the side effects from that 9-to-5, sit-for-hours lifestyle. It’s probably the one thing that actually needs to be canceled this year. It doesn’t just apply to your job, though. How many of us go home and sit some more because we are mentally exhausted after work? Let’s explore the not-so-glamorous consequences of prolonged sitting (a.k.a the un-fun part).
Act 1: Your Body Fights Back – The Short-term Side Effects
Poor Posture: Did you know that slumping over your desk all day (and sitting on your couch at night) is a one-way ticket to looking like you swing the bells of Notre Dame? Your spine is begging for mercy – help keep it straight.
Back Pain: Sit for hours uninterrupted, and see how your back feels. Spoiler Alert: It’s not a great feeling. It’s like a twisted game of musical chairs, but the music never stops and it’s just you in the game.
Muscle Weakness: In the world of muscles, it’s “use ’em or lose ’em.” Sitting all day tells your muscles they’re on vacation. Hint: They’re not, and they don’t need those tiny Hawaiian shirts. Weak or non-existent muscles are a sure-fire way to develop random pains.
Stiffness: Sitting so long that you start to feel like you’re turning into one of the office chairs you sit on? Yeah, that’s no good.
Act 2: Mind Over Misery – Psychological Effects
Now, for some brain food. Let’s talk about how our sitting saga affects our mood and mind:
Increased Stress: When you’re trapped on your office island, it’s no surprise that stress levels go up. Obviously, that isn’t good for gains when the cortisol rises.
Lower Mood: Sitting all day can make you feel like you’re stuck in a rainy cloud. Anxiety and depression are only a few steps away.
Take a stand (literally) against the side effects of sitting! Trust us, both your body and mind will thank you big time.
The Power of Moving for Office People
I think we’ve established that sitting around all day can cause all sorts of issues. Let’s spice things up a bit and adjust our path away from preventable pain and sadness. It all starts with moving. And moving a lot.
Move to Groove: Kicking Out Sit-Effects
Can’t stand sitting anymore? Stand Up! Better yet, move around. In the battle of you vs. chair, believe in your power to win. A quick walk, stretch, or trip up/down the stairs can loosen up the muscles and joints. A shimmy might get you sent to HR though, so don’t do that.
Let’s Get The Blood Flowing: Circulation
Next stop: Circulation. Sitting is like stopping traffic inside your body. Blood pools, muscles tighten, it’s all bad. Movement is your green light, letting blood flow freely to deliver crucial things like oxygen and nutrients.
Posture Perfect: Stand Tall, Y’all!
Remember the hunchback dilemma? Ditch it. Regular movement and strengthening exercises help you maintain proper body alignment. Think of it as your body’s natural GPS navigator, ensuring you stay upright and as pain-free as possible.
Confidence Club: It’s All in the Movements
Ever feel like your confidence wavers as the day goes on? Building up your physical capabilities can rev up your self-esteem and overall well-being. Your office mates will notice as you walk into the room.
Muscles: Stronger, Faster, Safer
Build up increased muscle mass! More muscle leads to a higher metabolism, stronger bones, and reduced risk of injuries. Plus, they look nice and you’ll stand out. It’s pretty well known that fitter people tend to do better in life.
Exercise Tips for Office Workers
Don’t be shackled to your desk 8 hours a day like it’s a life sentence. It’s a career, but it isn’t a curse. There is plenty you can do throughout the day to stay active, get in your steps, and reduce your chances of becoming an office statistic.
Break Time: Stretch
Got five minutes? On a fresh air break? Lunchtime? Take short, frequent breaks throughout your day to stretch and walk around. Taking a lap or two around the parking lot once an hour is a great way to get in some movement, provided you still get all the rest of your stuff done.
Stand (or Sit) Tall: The Secret Weapons
Ask for a standing desk or it’s weirder cousin the balance ball chair. Just the act of standing up helps reduce pooled blood, improve circulation, and improve mood. Plus, it’s great for posture and helps with confidence.
Park & Stride: Embrace the Walk of Fame
This is a personal favorite of mine. Everyone always fights over parking spots near the door wherever they go. Grocery shopping, at the mall, and, oddly enough, even at the gym. Why? Further away spots are always open, you don’t need to fight over them, and you get some extra steps in. Takes maybe an extra 30 seconds to walk.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Office Battle Buddies
Bring a coworker with you on your trip around the building. Don’t hide the key to office wellbeing. It’s always nice to have someone along for the walk to talk to.
Exercise Extravaganza: Fitness Cheat Sheet
Looking for easy desk-centric movements? Here are some office-friendly exercises that may or may no get other people talking about you, hopefully in a good way.
- Chair Squats: Strengthen your legs while waiting for that document to print.
- Desk Push-ups: Turn the desk into your personal gym.
- Office Lunges: Want a toned lower body? Lunge your way around the office. Disclaimer: Might get some looks.
- Weights: Bring some small dumbbells to keep at your desk and maybe some grip trainers. (Great for stress relief)
Outside the Office Fitness: Movement Never Stops
This is just good advice all around. Get a gym membership, prioritize it, and use it. Do you know how many people get a Planet Fitness membership in January and pay the whole year, going only a handful of times? Why do they do that? No commitment. Get a membership and grow your muscles. Run down the road a few times a week. Sign up for an obstacle race. Whatever you need to do, just don’t stop moving.
The Turnaround: Dodging Sedentary Hazards
We’ve talked about the horrors of chair-clinging existence. We know that staying glued to your seat can lead to poor posture, back pain, stress, and more. But we also discovered the secret rescue mission: Moving! More movement, more muscle mass, more awesome feeling in our everyday lives.
Take the Leap: Reduce the Health Risks
So, go work on yourself! Prioritize your health and embark on the mission to transform your daily life. Make it a habit, and take those small, sustainable steps towards success.
- Stretch: Treat your body like the important thing that it is. Break up the sitting marathon with some movement breaks.
- Move: Tap dance, speed walk, saunter, whatever you need to do around the office – just keep that blood flowing!
- Strength: Build a bolder, stronger you with exercise moments, in or out of the gym.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Starting small, we achieve great things, and even the tiniest changes can have lasting benefits. I hope this relatively short piece full of exercise tips for office workers was helpful.
Let Us help You Out
At CONDITIONerd we are here to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans we offer to our customers and see if you could benefit from working with our team. And if you have questions, you can always contact a CONDITIONerd team member.
Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.
We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals.
The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.
Get into contact with us to find out what membership is right for you. In a CONDITIONerd program, you’ll be surrounded by others who can help you to get where you want to be.
Generally, our clients start to see some pretty awesome changes in 2-3 months time, some sooner.