Here at A Courteous Communications, our live virtual receptionists have made an art out of sitting at a desk for long periods of time. We have had virtual receptionists answering office lines 7 days a week, 365 days a year since first opening in 1986. Our virtual office receptionists never miss an incoming call because we are always sitting at our desk waiting for the next caller to help. In this article, our experienced sitting experts share with you 5 tips for staying healthy at your desk job.
Tips for staying healthy at a desk job
1. Posture and Positioning Can Make or Break You
Studies show that the average American office worker sits around 10 hours a day. Depending on your posture and various positioning habits throughout the day, you could be killing your neck, shoulders, back, spine and wrists. According to Breaking Muscle, “One major detriment to long periods of sitting is the effect on your posture, flexibility, mobility, and joint health.”
Tips for a helpful sitting posture at your office desk include:
- Position your computer monitor directly in your sightline
- Relaxing your shoulders
- Placing your feet flat on the floor
- Recommended sitting angle opinions range from 110-135 degrees
- Make certain your wrists and hands are continuously supported
Want to know how long you sit on any given day? Visit Just Stand’s Sitting Calculator to determine if you sit shorter or longer than the national average.
2. Commit to Staying Hydrated
We all have heard a million times, drinking water will naturally improve our overall health while preventing various diseases and illnesses. Staying refreshed, hydrated and focused will also give you a healthy boost to get through your work day. Water will protect your joints and cartilage with plenty of lubrication to fight common workplace injuries brought on by dehydration.
Don’t feel like chugging the recommended 8 glasses of water a day? Read our suggested article by Daily Burn, “10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren’t Water),” for a list of hydrating foods. Our virtual office receptionists enjoy hydrating snacks like watermelon, strawberries, celery and cucumbers.
3. Stand Up Every Hour for Faster Metabolism
According to a recent Washington Post article, “Metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. The muscles in your lower body are turned off. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 20 percent. Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again.”
Try to get in the habit of taking a quick stretch every 30-60 minutes you spend stagnant at your desk. Want to go the extra mile? Click here to read some deskercise tips from WebMD.
4. Step Away for a Daily Lunch Break
When you are pounding away on your computer keyboard and are completely in the zone, it’s understandable that you might miss lunch. Health professionals are in agreement when they say that skipping lunch is a major health no-no. Not only does your body need nutrients provided by a healthy afternoon meal, your brain also needs to take a moment to recharge.
If you are used to eating at your desk while working, stop this harmful habit. You can easily step outside your office to get some fresh air during a quick 10-15 walk after you eat your meal. This simple regimen will allow you to feel more focused and alert for the second half of your workday.
5. Declutter the Desk; Declutter the Mind
Go ahead and spend some time really organizing your virtual office desk or workstation. Clutter can lead to stress and cause you to lose focus easily throughout the day. Organize all of your work tools and become more efficient by finding a spot for all essential supplies and getting rid of the unused ones.
Invest in some antibacterial wipes and find a handy place for them in your new organized office. Make a habit of cleaning your workstation, telephone, supplies and all surfaces to ward of energy sucking germs. We don’t want to completely gross you out, but research by the University of Arizona found the average office desktop harbored 400 times more bacteria than the average office toilet seat.
After you declutter and clean your desk, perhaps putting a small plant on your desk will get you in the perfect productive work zone.