Even Ayurveda as far back as 600 BC red flagged the toxic health effects of sitting for too long in a day. It highlighted that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to an accumulation of bad energy and toxins called ama in the body that can result in chronic diseases.
Medical science is playing catch and we are being bombarded with one research study after another on how delirious a sedentary lifestyle really can be.
The clear and unequivocal fact is that if you have a sedentary desk job that involves you sitting for several hours a day along with a long commute, bad eating habits and a stressful life with a bad work-rest balance, you are going to be easy meat for diabetes and heart disease to name just a few. Being sedentary most of the day can also increase your chances of dying early due to chronic disease burden.
The fact is most of our bodies are already registering the negatives of a sedentary life. Making informed decisions about our health is imperative and can’t be put –off for tomorrow.
So, here are a few simple and easy-to follow hacks for sedentary life of full- time workers to incorporate wellness and self-care into your work life:
Step it Up
Movement in our daily lives is vital total to your health and wellbeing.
As things stand, people who hold down a full-time job find it difficult to take out even 15 minutes a week for a short walk.
An easy hack to keep yourself active while doing a desk job is to set reminders on your phone or a fitness app to walk for 2-5 minutes every hour.
This will help you feel energetic throughout the day and help you avoid the desk slouch which will do wonders for your productivity and overall fitness levels both.
Our bodies were designed to walk, run, sleep and maybe sit for an hour or two. But, you are putting an inordinate amount of stress on your vertebral column by sitting for 6-7 hours or more at a go.
Bad posture while sitting or walking can have several negative effects on your body and mind. It can cause cervical spondylosis and back pain. Both of these are on the rise among professionals who sit in front of a computer for hours.
Overtime, it can even lead to depression, pain, digestive problems and severe headaches.
A good way to nix a slouch is to keep checking yourself in a mirror and correcting your posture frequently, as well as adding yoga to your fitness routine.
Drink Enough Water
Water is a scientifically proven way of increasing your cognition, improving digestion, helping with headaches and migraines, as well as keeping your skin looking moisturized.
You can get yourself a sipper and keep sipping water throughout your workday, as evidence suggests that sipping water is more hydrating than drinking water every once in a while.
You could use a large sipper and ensure it gets done by the end of your work day.
The right food at lunch is absolutely essential to keep up your productivity levels. Never eat out every other day. Try to carry a home-cooked lunch each day to work, however hard it may be.
Try preparing your work-week lunches in advance to stop ordering in a work lunch. The same goes for your 4 pm snack.
Paying attention to what you eat is equally important to help prevent obesity and stress. As you continue to practice mindful eating, your brain is more in sync with the satiety signals it receives from your gut. This means it becomes really difficult to overeat.
Nix Work Stress
Concentrating on your breath is the most effective way to help manage stress. So, concentrate on your breath. Take deep breaths to stay in the present and reign in your stress levels.
Take a minute or two each hour of your work day to focus on your breath, or start your day with 15 minutes of pranayama.
This will also help stabilize your blood pressure, relax your back muscles and decrease feelings of anxiety!
You can also add a few basic stretches to your work day. Shrug your shoulders, stretch your arms up over your head for a chest stretch or rotate your upper body while sitting on your chair to keep your shoulder, chest and back muscles from tensing up.
US research has proved that taking at least one brisk ten-minute walk a day reduces the risk of early death by 15 per cent, and cuts the chance of cancer, heart disease and poor mental health. So to sum it up, following a wellness routine is the best way to stay on course for a healthy you especially after the age of 40.
As a wise man rightly said- You cannot pour from an empty cup- so take the time to care for yourself first!