Beat The 9-5: Top Tips For Staying Healthy If You Sit at a Computer All Day

Since starting work I have found that I am a lot less active. Yes, I am still going to the gym and getting my 4-5 weekly work outs in (it does help that I work at Gymshark HQ, of course), but being active is not just about smashing a weights session or hitting up the cross trainer. When I was at home I was walking everywhere, I’d play in the garden with the puppies and I would consciously ensure I was getting in at least 10,000 steps a day. Working 9-5 in a office, however, makes this a lot more challenging. Whilst there are plenty of opportunities in the HQ to get up and about, the reality is I still spend a lot of time at my desk and working on the computer. I have recently being getting into some new habits to ensure that I am remaining healthy and taking care of my mind and body whilst at work and so I thought I would share we you guys some top tips I’ve picked up to beat the 9-5. 

Top Tips for (2)

 

Sort Out Your Set Up. 

No surprises here, but being sat on your computer all day everyday is not the best for your posture. Where your computer is in relation to your eyes is super important and can impact on your neck and back. If you’re looking too far down at your monitor it can cause strain on your back and neck resulting in problems in the long run. However, too far up and you’re likely to get dry eyes. When it comes to your set up, it’s kind of like the Goldilocks principle – not too high, not too low. A maximum 10 degree angle? Just right.

Also, remember you can be at your desk without being sat down all day! Apparently just 30 minutes less of sitting each day can have a hugely positive impact on your posture and long term health, so get yourself an adjustable desk and alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Trust me, it will give you more energy and make you more productive and alert.

Clean It Up.

Remember it’s not all about your physical health – I’ve found that having a clean and organised desk really helps me to keep a clear mind! Keep it nice and tidy and get yourself some nice pictures and personal bits and bobs (I have a little plant on mine) so your desk is a pleasurable and enjoyable place to be.

Back It Up.

No, I’m not talking about that presentation you have on Monday morning (although I would definitely make sure you’ve got that backed up). I’m actually talking about your monitor. If you’re sitting too close to your monitor you’re at risk of a number of nagging eye problems including eye exhaustion, burning, dryness and muscle pains behind the eyes. You therefore want to make sure you’re about an arms length away.

I have a condition called optical near-sight conversion, which means it is even more important to ensure I am a good distance away from my screen and I am taking frequent breaks. Since starting work I have ensure I practise eye exercises at least once a day to strengthen the muscles and prevent aching and soreness.

If you fancy practising some eye exercises, you can get more information here.

Eyes On The Prize.

Another trick for protecting those eyes is to increase your font size. Sounds obvious but a bigger font size will stop you from having to squint and strain your eyes, which could result in strained muscles and headaches.

I’e also found that since starting work that is predominantly computer based that my out of work hobbies have changed. Rather that getting straight home from work and starting another Netflix series*, I like to do something that gives my eyes a bit of a break. If it’s nice weather I tend to go for a walk or I’ll do some baking and cooking for the house! Just find something to keep you occupied for a few hours that doesn’t mean staring at a screen and straining your eyes.

(*Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly still watching Netflix – how else I am supposed to binge watch old seasons of Love Island?!)

Stay Hydrated.

If I had a £1 for every time I had written ‘stay hydrated’ on this blog I would probably have enough to fund my excessive coffee habit. Probably… The sad news is, coffee is actually not helping! I try and limit my coffee intake each day and instead try different herbal teas – gross at first but I have actually found a couple that I really like and they are caffeine free so loads better than drinking coffee all day. I would recommend Pukka Organic Teas – they have loads of different flavours that are actually really lovely and don’t just taste like you’re drinking bits of grass – always good. 

I also always have a bottle of water at my desk. As you all will know, drinking water is essential to keeping healthy. It also will force you to get up every once in a while and refill your bottle, meaning you’re up and about – win win. 

Take A Pack Up

As well as making sure you have a bottle of water on you, I would also recommend taking yourself a pack up and enough snacks to get you through your shift. Not only does this save money, it also means you have control of what you’re eating and therefore it is likely to be a lot more balanced and nutritious.

I tend to make enough food in the evening to have some left over for lunch and then snack on chopped veggies and dried fruit. I also have been practising my baking skills and been making ‘healthy’ snacks, including muffins and granola – a lot better (and a lot cheaper) than snack bars from the vending machines. 

Work It Out

Last but not least, it’s the desk workout! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t carry a barbell on my back at all times ready to drop into a squat at any given moment, but I do try and do abs engaging exercises and focus on my posture. I also make sure than every hour I get up and about – whether that be just to go for a wee and fill up my bottle. Even just a little wander will keep your blood flowing – every step counts. 

If you struggle to get enough steps in, I’d recommend getting yourself a pedometer. Studies have shown that sedentary people who wear pedometers and set daily step goals (I go for at least 10,000)  become more active and therefore improve their overall wellbeing – both mental and physical.

So there you have it, some of my top tips for making sure that you’re staying healthy whilst working a desk job. Keeping mentally and physically healthy whilst at work is super important and something that is often neglected. I hope that these tips are useful! Let me know down below your top tips for staying healthy whilst working your 9-5. 

Jamie x 

 

Sources

https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/8-things-you-need-do-if-you-sit-computer-all-day

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13931/21-ways-to-stay-healthy-when-you-sit-at-a-desk-all-day.html

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-simple-ways-to-stay-healthy-when-you-sit-a-lot-37035

https://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/a20444127/walking-pedometer-program-to-lose-weight/

https://www.bustle.com/articles/179775-11-ways-to-stay-healthy-at-the-office-because-your-habits-matter

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160323142345.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-sitting-too-close-to-screen-making-you-blind/

 

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