How to Stay Healthy at Work

When in the workplace for an eight-plus hour workday, be sure to move around regularly. Recent studies by the Mayo Clinic indicate that your long-term health could ultimately depend on it.

According to Dr. James A. Levine, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist, extended periods of sitting have been linked to higher blood pressure, blood sugar, fat concentrated around one's waistline and even obesity.

Those who spend longer hours in front of screens, whether at home or in the office, showed higher risks of cardiovascular disorders and weight problems.

None of this suggests that sitting is a bad thing, but when done in uncomfortable chairs, with poor posture for extremely long periods, there are health risks as years spent in the workplace begin to build. Health risks can be curbed, for example by taking a few minutes every hour to stand up and stretch. Taking a conference call, a brief meeting or even lunch standing up may account for serious long-term health benefits over years of practice.

As for the majority of your time spent sitting in the office, there are several key body positioning tips that can account for major long-term health benefits. Sitting with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hip sockets higher than your knees accounts for more likely back muscle longevity, better circulation and overall better health.

A firmer seat, like a Herman Miller Aeron side chair, for example, prevents every-day office employees from sinking into their respective office chairs, allowing for longer, pain-free workdays.

So ditch the icy-hot back pad, grab a quality chair, sit in that tall, confident pose, and take a break to stretch every once in a while. Your lower back will be better for it.

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