For much of our existence, humans were nomadic hunter gatherers who were constantly on the move. Everyday meant traveling from one spot to the next onthe lookout for food, clean drinking water, and shelter.
This all has changed once people started living together in larger settlements which eventually became the model for modern day cities. What made these proto-cities possible was specialization. Instead of being jack-of-all-trades hunter gatherers, people began taking on specific tasks that allowed these cities to thrive and grow.
Either way, both ways of life involved a lot of movement, and people were on their feet performing physical tasks for most of their day. Society stayed this way for many years, and it wasn’t until the industrial revolution and after that people began to live a much more sedentary lifestyle. While this has made life easy, it often leaves our bodies in a less than stellar physical shape.
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to office jobs, which typically have people sitting down for eight to ten hours a day, sometimes for four or more hours straight.
Here we will look at a couple of things everyone can do at work to help them maintain fitness, posture, and energy levels. All of these exercises can be performed without any equipment and with very limited space.
Squatting is a very simple exercise that works the whole body but mainly targets the legs. “When performing a squat, it is important to keep your back straight and lower your backside as if you’re sitting down into a little chair. How far down to go depends on the individual’s level of flexibility and fitness, but going down to your knees is recommended,” writes Joseph Benavidez, a business writer at Writinity and Last Minute Writing.
How many squats to do is up to the person, but most should try to work up too 100 a day, something which most people can accomplish in under three minutes.
It may seem simple, but for those who have the option, taking the stairs when entering the building is an easy way to get a little bit more exercise than normal. In fact, stair climbing is often cited as a great cardio workout because the upward movement provides resistance and is also easy on the knees. Even if it takes a little longer than the elevator, it is a simple and easy thing to implement into one’s daily routine.
The human body was not built to be seated for hours on end, and out of all aspects of a sedentary lifestyle, the way people sit is one of the most damaging. Truth be told, even though as children we spend hours a day seated at a desk, no one ever teaches us how to properly sit in a chair while typing or looking at a screen. The first thing a person should do is to have their feet flat on the ground with their knees bent at a 90 degree angle. From here, the back should be between 110 and 135 degrees in relation to the knees (many people sit too far forward on their chair, causing strain in their lower back). Once these three things are done right, it is easy to maintain a straight back and neck without hunching, which can wreak havoc on the back if done for extended periods day after day.
The last decade has really advanced our understanding of good carbs vs bad carbs, and this distinction is very important for those leading a less active lifestyle. “In essence, bad cards are refined carbs, and include things like pastries, white bread, sugar sweetened beverages, and other food items made with refined white flour. Good carbs, on the other hand, come from food items such as quinoa vegetables, barley, and whole grains,” writes Jame Neal, a health blogger at Researchpapersuk and Draftbeyond.
While the entire science behind carbohydrates is not well understood, most scientists and health professionals agree that consuming too many refined carbohydrates, especially when leading to an inactive lifestyle, can result in lower energy levels and can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
Fruits and vegetables used to be a major part of our diet, since meat was not always readily available. Aside from a few exceptions, our bodies grew accustomed to a diet heavy in fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the agricultural revolution and the advancement of farming techniques, access to meat and processed foods have never been greater, and this has caused a shift away from eating fresh produce.
For heavily active people, the effects of a poor diet might be less noticeable. However, those spending five or six days in an office will eventually begin to feel tired and lethargic if their fresh fruit and vegetable consumption remains low.
Planking has become a very popular core exercise over the last decade and can be done without moving at all. All one required to do the exercise is a place to stretch out on the floor. When planking, it is important to keep the back and legs straight and focus on maintaining a tight core. The initial goal should be working up to a minute long plank, something which most moderately in shape people can accomplish fairly quickly. This being said, everyone has their own abilities and limitations and some may find they can only plank for 30 seconds.
Planking offers many benefits and can be done in an office, cubicle, lunchroom, or anywhere else where there is enough space. Furthermore, it’s a good way to get blood moving without working up a large sweat
These days, many people live in metropolitan areas and work bear by. If feasible, walking to work a couple times a day is a great way to gain some extra exercise. For those who live a little but to far where walking just isn’t a realistic option, bike riding may be something to consider. Remember, this doesn’t have to be every day of the week, and even if it’s just one day a week, it can go a long way towards a healthier lifestyle.
Author: Henry Wiegand is a business development manager at Lucky Assignments Oxford and Gum Essays. Over the years, he has worked with many large corporations and businesses, something which has allowed him to hone his skills. When not working, Henry enjoys reading and writing about all topics business development.
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