Slave to the Grind

by Garreth Myers

You’re out of college. It’s been a month, and after hours and hours of hunting for that perfect job, you’ve finally managed to bag your own little workspace. Depending on the type of job you bag, you’ll be moving from a day drenched in sports and running around, to being stuck in your office chair for up to 40 odd hours a week. That amounts to about 6 hours a day. Do you know what the bad news is? Long periods of inactivity can kill you. That’s right. We’re not talking about exercising on weekends and then stepping into office for the rest of the week back to your couch potato of a lifestyle. That won’t help. Just the plopping yourself down on your office chair for hours at the stretch can increase your risk of cancer and heart disease.

Why am I at Risk?
The human body simply isn’t built for sitting. Even with exercise, sitting can have an adverse effect on the body. Immediately after planting yourself on your chair the electrical activity in your muscles go as silent as a corpse. Your body’s ability to burn calories also drops to about 37% of what it normally is when you’re up and active. After ten days of sitting for more than 6 hours a day, your sugar levels increase and you’re susceptible to gaining weight. The capacity for your blood to absorb oxygen decreases, which is why you’ll start to tire halfway up a flight of stairs. A year after you’ve been at your job and earned a fair bit, the full effects of being seated start to show itself. In women, studies show that they can lose up to one percent of their bone mass a year. After ten or twenty years, the risk of dying as a result of a cardiac arrest increases by up to more than 60 percent.

How do I not Quit my Job and Still Stop the Rot?

However, there are ways to cut down the health hazards from excessive sitting. All that you’ve got to keep track of is, make sure you:

1) Stand up and move around every 60 minutes.
2) Get about half an hour of activity every day.

Some may argue that a day of strenuous activity is enough to counteract a week of cozy office work. But again the, studies have stressed that the health risks isn’t about getting enough of exercise, but about prolonged periods of inactivity. What ‘standing up and moving around every hour or so’ does is give your body little pockets of activity that give it respite from the muscles not doing anything for long periods.

By altering the way you carry out everyday tasks in the office, you can help yourself reach that goal of thirty minutes of activity and also make sure that you give your body moderate activity once every hour.

  • Instead of sending your colleague, seated across the office floor, a mail – you should go over to his or her cubicle, and tell it to them in person.
  • Instead of taking the plain vanilla route to the washroom, you should stop at the recreation room and maybe say hello to the receptionist. In other words, make sure that you walk a lot more.
  • Download free applications that pop up every hour to remind you to stand and stretch. You can limber up, like you’re getting ready for a football game, or simply stop and clear the clutter off your desk. It doesn’t have to be exercise. A simple ‘stand-up-and-march-place-for-half-a-minute’ is enough.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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