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Making Your Desk Job and Health Compatible


The unemployment rate in Canada has fallen to its lowest in nearly a decade, which is great news for those looking for a dream job in 2018. If you do find a company that enables you to express your talents to the full, however, be careful of becoming a victim to the sedentary lifestyle. Sitting down for too many hours significantly raises the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and Type II diabetes. If you have a desk job and you think your half-hourly daily walk is sufficient to counter the effects of sitting, think again; you will need to make a bigger effort to reduce your risk of disease.

The Importance of Movement Throughout the Day

An interesting study published in PLOS ONE found that simply sitting for large portions of the day can have an effect on memory and our ability to learn new skills. Even if you exercise daily, it is vital to get up various times during the day to get your circulation going. Take your pick from running up and down a flight of steps, walking around the building or office (if the latter is large enough) or performing stretching and other exercises before your desk for a few minutes.

Researchers also noted that to prevent disease, those with desk jobs should complete exercises of different intensities, since each type of exercises boosts a different brain function. Finally, a diet that is rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids can help to keep obesity and heart disease at bay. Keeping alcohol consumption to reasonable limits is likewise key.

Investing in the Right Furniture

Standing desks can be useful for battling sedentarism, because users can change their position while working (taking turns to stand and sit while working on the computer). Follow these tips when it comes to your office set-up:

  • It is important that you set your desk up the right way. The computer screen should be just a little higher than eye level, so you have to look up slightly to use it.

  • Your choice of chair is also important; a good chair should have padding, neck and lumbar support, and adjustable features.

  • Even your keyboard is important; is it ergonomic, or do you find that your wrists or fingers hurt from using the wrong equipment? Opt for a keyboard with flat keys and set it up at the right angle to maximize wrist comfort.

  • Is your mouse difficult to use or does it feel natural and effortless? New varieties tend to have a sloping angle, once again to reduce wrist stress.

Small changes can make a big difference in terms of comfort and wellbeing and often, changing all these items will cost just a few hundred dollars.

To avoid the negative effects of sitting for various hours straight, make sure to get up every hour or so to stretch, walk around for a few minutes, or perform a few yoga poses, Pilates moves or stretches. Take any opportunity you can to walk to see colleagues in the far side of the office or on other floors, instead of using the phone. Invest in a standing desk if you feel you will use it as intended, and finally, ensure you consume a healthy diet to help keep diseases such as cancer and heart disease at bay.

About the Author

Jane Sandwood has been a freelance writer and editor for over 10 years. She has written for both digital and print across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and wellbeing in their everyday life. When she isn’t writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a book, at the gym or just spending time with her family.

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