Sedentary Jobs: How to Minimize the Health Risks

Sedentary Jobs: How to Minimize the Health Risks

American employees who have full-time jobs spend an average of 9.2 hours per day working and a lot of that time is spent sitting down.

American employees who have full-time jobs spend an average of 9.2 hours per day working and a lot of that time is spent sitting down, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the digital age, working on computers is often the norm, and this type of sedentary labor may lead to physical health problems. Supervisors should make every effort to get employees moving at work, as encouraging physical activity is a smart way to build a healthier and happier workforce.

Offer fitness classes at work

Greater physical activity at work will lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, based on information from a study published in the Atherosclerosis journal. Heart health is important, as 630,000 Americans lose their lives to heart disease annually. To help your workers improve their cardiovascular fitness, encourage them to attend fitness classes in the workplace.

These classes might be held in the building or outside. Examples of exercise styles that work well for groups of employees include Yoga, Tai Chi and walking. Offering discounted passes to nearby gyms will also be a great way to reward employees and promote physical activity. Another option might be getting employees together to do a cycling race for charity or a 5k run for charity. Exercising for a good cause is very motivating and inspiring.

Encourage employees to stretch at their desks

Employees who are desk jockeys do have to be at their workstations in order to get things done, except during mealtimes and breaks, but they can learn techniques that help them to stay fit while they are sitting down. Some workers might not know how to stretch properly while sitting, and supervisors should help them to master the most helpful moves.

Healthline describes this form of exercise as "deskercise," and some of the most beneficial deskercise moves include overhead reaches, triceps stretches, forward stretches and trunk rotations. These moves will release physical tension and they'll also help to relieve stress. Lead your workers through these moves to show them just how easy it is to stretch without standing up.

Offer healthy snacks and drinks

Exercise is important, but diet also plays a prominent role in how we feel at work. People who have sedentary work lifestyles aren't burning a lot of calories as they perform their duties, so what they put into their bodies makes a big difference. When they eat clean, in moderate portions, they'll find it easier to maintain their ideal weights or slim down.

Support good health at work by offering healthy snacks and drinks that aren't laden with fat, sugar, salt and calories. Fresh fruit and veggies with low-fat yogurt dip will help employees to stay energized as they work at their desks. Pure water and herbal teas will help them to stay hydrated. Avoid offering junk food to your workers, as it does them no good.

As you can see, there are lot of ways that supervisors may help their workers to embrace physical activity. Exercise will minimize the health risks associated with sedentary labor. Small changes may add up to big improvements down the line.

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