All jobs have health risks. People who work outside contend with extreme elements. Those who work around chemicals or loud noises must wear protective gear. Even people who work in seemingly safe offices face increased health risks. Typing too much can cause carpal tunnel. Staring at a computer screen all day can cause vision problems, and the sedentary nature of desk jobs can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and more.
One in four American adults sits for more than eight hours a day, according to investigators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between their commute, time on the job and sitting in the evenings, some office workers are off their feet as much as 15 hours per day, and their bodies do not like it at all.
To combat the risks associated with working sedentary jobs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends people sit less and move more, even if that activity comes in tiny chunks. Here are a few tips to offer your office employees to increase their activity level:
- Park in the furthest spot from the door
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Take a walk on your lunch break
- Use a restroom on a different floor (using the stairs to get there, of course!)
- Schedule stand-up or walking meetings
- Get up from your desk and move every 30 minutes
- Set reminders on your phone or wear a fitness tracker
- Stand while talking on the phone
- Try a standing desk
For other ideas, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion offers a variety of free tools and resources to promote their Move Your Way campaign. Materials include social media posts, sample newsletter copy and posters designed for different audiences. The messages targeted to adults can easily be modified slightly to speak directly to your employees about the benefits of physical activity. Check it out.