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Staying fit at work

Staying fit at work

November 4, 2016

Get fit at work with desk chair alternatives

Image credit: iStock/AndreyPopov

If you work in an office, you’re probably already aware that sitting for eight hours a day, five days a week isn’t great for your health. Numerous studies in recent years have highlighted the issues related to a sedentary lifestyle, even if you try and balance out the time you spend sitting at work with exercise at other times.

While it is important to make sure you get up and walk around every hour, there are other ways you can benefit your health when you’re working. One great way to be healthier when you’re at work – other than getting in some extra steps throughout the day – is to change your office chair.

Rather than your typical office chair, there are some great alternatives that still allow you to get on with your job. Here are our top suggestions:

Standing desk

Rather than sitting down all day, get yourself a standing desk that sets your computer at the right height so you can stand and work at the same time. Not only does standing make it easier to get steps in, you’ll actually burn more calories on average than you do while sat down without hampering productivity.

Just remember that you still need to walk regularly and stretch to avoid your muscles going tight. You may also want to mix things up a bit and change from sitting to standing at several points throughout the day. This is made easier with a variable height desk, which you can adjust when you need to in order to keep things fresh.

Exercise ball

You need to work harder to stay stable on an exercise ball – even if you invest in a base and back for it – which means you work your core and your back. It also means you can move a lot more while being sat down, which helps you burn calories as you carry on with your day.

Standard office chairs aren’t all that comfortable, so you may find you ache less after a day of sitting on your exercise ball, even if you are engaging more muscles to stay steady. This means that those who suffer from back pain might find this to be the perfect alternative.

It’s important to ensure that your exercise ball is properly inflated, though, otherwise you can actually injure your back. You’ll also still need to move around a bit throughout the day.

Treadmill desk

For those who would rather be walking than sitting, you could give a treadmill desk a go. This is better than simply standing up all day as you are able to walk while you work, burning more calories and ensuring you get your 10,000 steps in.

You need to have a variable height desk in order to use a treadmill while working and suitable shoes that provide good grip. Most treadmill desks are reasonably quiet, although you may still find that it takes some getting used to.

While a treadmill desk might not be the best option for times you really need to concentrate or if you’re doing something difficult, as multitasking while walking isn’t always easy. Also, you don’t want to be walking all day, so make sure you have a break.

Under desk stepper

If you don’t want to invest in a whole new chair for your office, try an under desk stepper. This will allow you to work your legs and get more steps in throughout the day while sitting, counteracting some of the negative effects.

While this won’t be a complete alternative to getting up and walking around regularly, it will help you burn more calories without disrupting your working day.

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