A modern lifestyle in a professional job generally means long hours in an office sitting behind a desk. While most professional careers provide good salaries and stable futures for families, they are proving hazardous to our health.
It’s early afternoon, you find yourself hunched over the keyboard with your head tilted at a funny angle, a growing pain in your lower back or shoulders and your to-do list still weighing on your conscience. Not only is this sapping your energy and creativity, which reduces your productivity, it is going to affect your quality of life. Prolonged hours sitting at a desk/computer are creating an epidemic of poor posture and contributing to the development of serious health problems due to lack of physical activity.
Good posture is usually the first casualty of an office worker. We tend to slouch while typing on computers and often assume unhealthy positions when using our mobile phones. Staying in these positions for long periods changes the natural alignment of your joints. This puts stress on your muscles, which saps your energy. Many studies link poor posture to reduced effectiveness of breathing, headaches, depression, and altered hormone levels. Bad posture isn’t just a pain and injury issue. Bad posture makes you look unattractive and fatter! Fortunately, with a little bit of effort it is not difficult to change.
Move It or Lose It
To stay healthy in the office, it’s important to move. Inactivity is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your health. Sitting has been called the “disease of our time”. It is reported that inactive lifestyles are guilty for more deaths than smoking. Lack of physical activity is closely linked to:
• Increased the risks of cancer
• Type 2 diabetes
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Coronary heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Overweight or obesity
• Bone and joint problems
• Elevated cholesterol levels
• Anxiety and depression
These are all serious health problems! All caused by and related to not moving your body enough. According to the World Health Oganisation, 60% to 85% of the population worldwide is not active enough. Physical inactivity is now the fourth leading risk factor globally for premature death.
I have launched a series of free exercise videos showing you fantastic exercises to do at work and home to rectify these health and postural issues. Simply search for: #healthcompanion Phil Kelly.
Can you believe that starting from just one minute a day you can improve your health? One minute can make a big difference… using this minimal amount of time, as a starting point, you can begin your journey to feeling much better. However, the National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends that for every hour spent sitting should be balanced by one minute of corrective exercises.
Activities like running place a lot of impact on joints and need either a lot of space or a big expensive machine to perform. The beauty about the Health Companion series is that you need very little space and absolutely no equipment, so you can do the excercises at the office or in the comfort of your own home. The exercises not only make you fitter and strengthen your heart but they will improve your flexibility, your muscle tone and body shape, reduce stress, improve concentration as well as improving how your body works as a whole unit.
Everyone, no matter how busy they are, can spare 60 seconds every hour to move. Sitting is killing us, or at least destroying our quality of life. Join me in performing these exercises daily to help you lead a healthier and happier life.
Phil Kelly is a health practitioner and expert in body transformation. His services are available at Star Fitness (starfitnesssaigon.com).