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10 Things to Keep at Your Desk for a Healthier Workday

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Dr. James Levine is known for saying, “Sitting is the new smoking.” While you've probably heard this before, know that it’s more than just a catchy buzzphrase—his words hold some truth. According to studies, spending six hours or more per day in a seated position can increase the risk of diabetes, depression, obesity, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.
 
If you have an office job, staying below that six-hour threshold may not be possible (unless you’re lucky enough to get your boss to invest in a standing desk). And you’re not alone: Americans spend an average of nine to 10 hours per day parked on their bottoms, escalating the risks even higher.
 
Before you start planning a walkout with your other chair-ridden co-workers, you can take some steps to make your workspace more conducive to better health. By keeping these good-for-you items on and around your desk, you'll ensure that your seated hours are spent as wisely as possible.
  1. Stability ball: Sitting in a regular desk chair for hours on end can lead to slouching and poor posture. When you trade the chair for a stability ball or yoga ball, even just for an hour or two a day, it will force you to sit up straight and balance your body weight, which will help to prevent back pain and activate the core muscles. As an added bonus, you’ll burn a few extra calories.
  2. Air purifier: For some office workers, daily extended exposure to airborne allergens and chemicals can cause discomfort, headaches and nausea. If you don’t have access to a window near your desk for ventilation, try keeping a small air purifier on your desk to reduce indoor air pollutants and keep you mentally energized.
  3. Water bottle: With all of the health-boosting benefits of hydration, a water bottle should be just as much a staple of your workday as a phone or computer. Sip throughout the day to promote healthy digestion, metabolism and nutrient absorption. Regular fluid intake will also help boost energy levels and mental focus.
  4. Standing desk: If it’s an option at your workplace, consider switching to a standing desk for part of the day. Some experts believe that so-called “active desks” can help to boost metabolism by encouraging more movement, and also promote improved posture and core strength. (That said, standing for the entire day could eventually lead to its own aches and pains, so shoot for a healthy balance.)
  5. Comfortable walking shoes. Even if you can’t wear them while you’re working, keeping them in plain sight will make it easier and more likely for you to take short walking breaks throughout the day or during your lunch hour. If you live close enough, you could even change into them to walk to and from work (or just to your intentionally far-parked vehicle).
  6. Light dumbbells. These are great for working in mini strength training sessions. Take quick breaks throughout the workday to do a quick set of bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises or shoulder presses (or squeeze them in during a conference call).
  7. Healthy snacks. Silence the 3 p.m. siren song of the vending machine by stocking your desk with nutritious and filling snacks like homemade trail mix, dried fruit, carrot sticks and hummus and whole-grain crackers. They’ll help keep you fueled from lunch to dinner, and give you the strength you need to resist those break-room donuts.
  8. A plant. Some research shows that incorporating elements of nature into an indoor workspace can help to boost creativity, mental focus and overall wellness, while reducing stress and creating a sense of calm.
  9. Stress ball. A big part of staying healthy at work is finding constructive (or at least not unhealthy) ways to manage the inevitable stressful periods. When you feel yourself feeling anxious, overwhelmed or tense, try squeezing a stress ball as an outlet for that negative energy.
  10. Sources of inspiration. Find a few visual sources of inspiration to keep you motivated throughout the workday and remind you of your “why.” This might include a framed family photo, meaningful quotes or mantras, a special card from a loved one or any other item that encourages and uplifts you in your journey to optimal health.
Do you keep any of these things at your workplace? Is there anything not on this list that you’d recommend including?

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Comments

NANCYPAT1 6/1/2019
Thanks Report
NANCYPAT1 6/1/2019
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NANCYPAT1 6/1/2019
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NANCYPAT1 6/1/2019
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NANCYPAT1 6/1/2019
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NANCYPAT1 6/1/2019
Thanks Report
SEREKNITTY 5/23/2019
Helpful ideas. Thanks! Report
DWROBERGE 5/12/2019
great article thanks Report
DWROBERGE 5/12/2019
great ideas Report
SANDRASEZSO 5/8/2019
Thank you Report
DWROBERGE 5/8/2019
great article Report
DWROBERGE 5/6/2019
fantastic Report
FITNESSHEALT1 5/6/2019
Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

https:// www.fitnesshealthforever.com/nutrit
ion
/ Report
PLCHAPPELL 5/4/2019
Great ideas Report
KAYAHSLOANE1 5/3/2019
At my last job many of these things were possible. I am running all day at this job so many are not reasonable. True, sometimes writers of articles may want to use a bit of sense when suggesting items or ideas~ Report
TAPESTRIES 4/30/2019
Stability balls may not be allowed in offices due to liability issues. If a person loses balance while sitting on one at the office and is injured, that could be a problem.

I wish the authors of these articles would do some research and/or use some common sense before offering suggestions.

https://ergo-plus.com/using-exer
cise-ball-to-replace-office-chair/

https:// www.livestrong.com/article/109461-e
xercise-ball-vs.-desk-chair
/

https://coach.nine.com.au/2017/0
2/07/08/03/why-swapping-your-chair-
for-an-exercise-ball-wont-work Report
HMBROWN1 4/30/2019
I already have some of these in my office. I should get a plant too! Report
SUSANBEAMON 4/30/2019
So glad I'm retired if that's what we are expected to include in an open office with 20 other people and 6 mail examination machines with assorted additional mail movement trays. There isn't any room as it is. Report
DWROBERGE 4/29/2019
great article thanks Report
RAPUNZEL53 4/28/2019
Great Report
AIYANASMAMA 4/28/2019
Thanks Report
POSEY440 4/28/2019
Great Report
PLCHAPPELL 4/28/2019
Good suggestion Report
LOSER05 4/28/2019
Thanks Report
ZRIE014 4/28/2019
thanks. Report
DWROBERGE 4/28/2019
fantastic ideas Report
_CYNDY55_ 4/27/2019
thanks Report
JUNETTA2002 4/27/2019
Thanks for sharing Report
PWILLOW1 4/27/2019
Wonder how many people have room for all that at work or if boss would agree. Report
DWROBERGE 4/27/2019
great article Report
ZRIE014 4/27/2019
good article Report
HEDSTS58 4/26/2019
Great if you have an office and if your boss will let you have those things in your office. I'm a nurse and I can't have any if that in the nurses station and I know my boss can't have any of that in her offfice Report
ERIN_POSCH 4/26/2019
Thank you
Report
LOSER05 4/26/2019
Thanks Report
ZRIE014 4/26/2019
good article Report
DWROBERGE 4/25/2019
great ideas Report
GABY1948 4/25/2019
Thanks Report
HEALTHYANDFIT27 4/25/2019
Love these ideas! Thank you! Report
LIS193 4/25/2019
Great ideas Report
CECELW 4/25/2019
I never thought of a stress ball. Standing desks weren't options Report
REDMANCHRONIC 4/25/2019
OMG...Thanks, Melissa. I shall print this and post it on the wall I stare into daily!! Good ideas. Report
KHALIA2 4/25/2019
Great tips! Thanks! Report
AQUAGIRL08 4/25/2019
Thank you ! Report
ERIN_POSCH 4/25/2019
thank you Report
NELLJONES 4/25/2019
Not all employers want to see stability balls at work. Report
REJ7777 4/25/2019
Great recommendations! Report
THINCPL2004 4/25/2019
great article! Report
ROBBIEY 4/25/2019
Nice Report
PICKIE98 4/25/2019
thank you. Report
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