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Updated by Fiona on Jan 06, 2017
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Staying Healthy and Active in an Office Job

In a modern office, it can seem difficult to stay healthy and active when you are at your desk for long periods on a daily basis. In a small office, you may not need to leave your desk to talk to your colleagues, or in a bigger office, email or instant messaging may be the preferred methods of communication.

The good news is, even if your job involves a lot of time sitting at a computer, there are a lot of things that you can do to stay active at work and make a difference to your overall health.

1

Don’t feel chained to your desk

Don’t feel chained to your desk

Whilst your job may include sitting at a PC, you should try to stand up when you can. If you need to make a phone call, why not use a mobile phone and go for a walk around the office, or even take a short walk outside.

2

Try a standing desk

By using a higher desk, you could stand up to work. This is a great way to reduce the negative impact that sitting for long periods can have on your back and neck. Adjustable desks are a great idea so that you have the flexibility to stand or sit.

3

Walk to work

Walk to work

If you live close enough, why not save your petrol money and benefit from the extra exercise of walking to work. You could even try cycling to work if this appeals to you more. If you use public transport to travel to work, why not make the decision to get off the bus or train a stop early if you are in a reasonable walking distance of the office?

4

Talk to your colleagues face to face

Talk to your colleagues face to face

If you need to discuss something with a colleague in a different room, or too far away to speak directly to from your desk, rather than sending an email, why not get into the habit of walking over to them to talk. You can probably have a much quicker and more effective discussion by talking face to face and this gives you the excuse to stand up, stretch and walk.

5

Take your lunch break

It’s becoming increasingly normal for people to eat lunch at their desk, often continuing to work, or browsing the internet. You will likely feel much better for going for a walk during your lunch break, if only into another room. It’s good to take a breath of fresh air, or at least enjoy a change of surroundings for a while. By taking a break, you are likely to feel refreshed and be more productive in the afternoon.

6

Make sure you are comfortable

Making sure your workstation has an ergonomic layout is important for reducing the risks of back, neck and postural problems. You should be able to sit so that your neck is straight, your wrists remain flat on your desk and your feet should be flat on the floor, with your hips at a 90 degree angle.

If you are suffering as a result of sitting for too long at work, or from an unsuitable workstation, an osteopath can help. For an osteopath in the West Midlands, you can contact Fiona Passey Osteopaths by calling 0121 585 8555 for the Halesowen practice or 01902 894 894 for the Wombourne practice.