The United States is currently in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Mass media is quick to blame the increase in technology and fast food restaurants. However, a major contributor to this epidemic is the increase in sedentary jobs and decrease in activity levels.
The number of sedentary jobs has grown nearly 85% since 1950, with less than 20% of all current jobs being physically demanding. Not only are more people working sedentary jobs, they are working more hours than ever, with full-time employees logging 47 hours per week.
The obesity rate in high school students in the United States is 13.3%, compared to a rate of 34.9% for adults. This spike in obesity among young professionals is a major contributing factor to the continuing growth of obesity in the United States, and will continue unless a change is made.
The majority of young adults transition from being a physically active high school or college student to a sedentary young professional, and pay the price in terms of their waistline. Working 40+ hours/week for the first time can be a shock for many people and can result in low energy levels and the development of poor health habits.
Don’t fall victim to this trend and stay active by using these 5 tips!
#1 Use Your Lunch Break to Get Active
Spend the first half of your lunch break going on a walk or run outside the office.
Starting a walking/jogging group with your co-workers can be a tremendous team building activity and promote a healthy workplace environment.
This can be a great activity to relieve stress and refresh the mind for the second half of the work day, which will increase overall productivity.
#2 Try a Standing Desk
Prolonged sitting causes slowing of blood flow, which can lead to increased risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. The average American spends over 9 hours a day in a sitting position. Avoid these health risks by incorporating a standing desk.
Switching to a standing desk will not only improve blood flow, it will increase the amount of calories you burn while at work.
People who use a standing desk can burn up to 400 more calories per day than those who use a traditional sitting desk.
#3 Track your Movement
Exercise tracking has become a nation wide craze as of late – they can be seen being used by people of all fitness levels!
Devices can be great tools to ensure that you are staying active at work.
With features that alert you if you are not reaching your activity level each hour, it becomes easier to stay accountable to get up and get active.
#4 Face-to-Face Conversations
It is too easy to simply email or call a co-worker that is located across the office or on a different floor.
However, getting out of your chair and walking to talk to that person face to face is an easy way to get extra exercise in, and break up long periods of sitting.
Not only will this help you stay more active during the day, face-to-face conversations will improve communication with your co-workers.
Poor posture becomes an office epidemic fueled by long hours of sitting at a desk. Taking just a few minutes each hour to stand up and stretch can go a long way. Stretching can improve blood flow and flexibility, and can activate muscles that would otherwise go unstimulated.
A short stretching routine should include stretching the neck, back, arms and legs, and can be completed in just a few short minutes!