If you’re part of the 86 percent of Americans who have a desk job, listen up! Sitting for a long time is linked to many diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And, if you’re a woman, sitting may increase your cancer risk.
(via CBS News) Between grocery shopping, playing with the kids and preparing meals, you may feel like you spend a lot of your time on your feet. But what about when you’re at the office?
Those hours spent in your chair could be putting you at an increased risk for several health issues, including cancer.
A study published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that sitting for more than six hours a day put women at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer and the blood cancer, multiple myeloma, compared to women who sat for less than three hours a day.
But you don’t have to quit your desk job to get better health.
Women: Try These 5 Easy Workouts at Your Office
Even if you can’t find time for the gym, there are easy ways to incorporate exercise into your day and reduce the amount of time you spend in your chair.
Laura Garcia, Physical Therapist, Renown Health, offers these five simple exercises you can do at the office.
She says the goal is to fit in 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily for a total of 150 minutes weekly.
“This can be broken up into any increment that works. Even a minute of exercise here and there can change the repetitiveness of the day and provide amazing health benefits,” Laura says.
Utilize your office wall
Wall sit for 60 seconds.
To make it harder: try lifting your toes up.
Get way up
Calf raises, 25 repetitions.
To make it harder: try one leg at a time.
Find a little balance in the day
Single-leg balance for 30 seconds each.
To make it harder: add arm movements such as shoulder raises.
Strengthen and tone
Shoulder blade squeezes 10 times, hold 10 seconds each.
To make it harder: add a resistance band.
Stretch out tension and stress
Side stretch reaching overhead, 5 times each side, hold 10 seconds
Beyond the exercises, Laura offers these tips to make your day a healthier one:
- Going up! Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Long Shopping Stroll! Pick a parking space further away from the door and briskly walk the parking lot.
- Get up! Stand when possible. For example, when you are talking on the phone or waiting for a fax or copies.
- Get moving! Walk during your lunch break. If it’s too hot or too cold, try walking or marching in place.
- Keep it fresh! Download an app to your phone that can give you new exercises.
- It’s time! Set a watch or timer at least hourly to cue a standing or exercise break.
- Write it down! Keep a daily log so you can see your accomplishments each day.
- Buddy system! Encourage your co-workers to do follow the same healthy tips.
Laura says that incorporating these exercises and tips have multiple benefits for your health including:
- Improved posture
- Increased circulation
- Increased metabolism
- Improved memory
- Decreased risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity