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7 Tips to Stay Active in a Medical Office
Sure, working at a desk beats the pains of manual labor, but is this sedentary lifestyle taking a toll on your health? While working in a medical office or as triage nurse isn’t physically straining, it can be mentally exhausting. By the end of the day, you may find yourself debating between a trip to the gym or a date with your couch.
Studies indicate that sitting for long hours is hazardous for your health. “When you sit for an extended period of time, your body starts to shut down at the metabolic level, says Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri,” (as cited in Women’s Health, 2009). When you’re sitting, your circulation slows down, causing you to burn fewer calories and use less blood sugar, increasing your risk for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Even more disturbing is the study published in American Institute of Cancer Research, addressing the link between sedentary lifestyle and cancer. “Our study suggests that sedentary behavior is associated with detrimental risk for developing certain types of cancer,” said lead study author Daniela Schmid, PhD, of the University of Regensburg in Germany (as cited in AICS, 2014).
Whether you’re working in a medical office, a call center, or from home as a telephone triage nurse, your job involves a lot of time sitting down. So what can you do to help prevent unfavorable side effects to your health? Perhaps blending your office day with some healthy tips and exercises is the best scenario. Nowadays, technology allows us to blend just about everything. We can check our email as we sit in the airport and book movie tickets on our smartphone. Why not work in a few squats as you discuss projects during a web conference?
Here are some tips to help you stay active at work:
1. Use an exercise ball as a chair
Replacing your chair with an exercise ball strengthens your core as you move continuously to compensate for balance. Circulation and balance also improve when you use an exercise ball instead of a traditional chair.
2. Squat it Out
Don’t sit idle as you participate in web conferences. Use your meetings as a chance to work in a few squats. Not only will you strengthen your thighs, but your abs and buttocks, as well.
3. Take the stairs
It’s so routine, you waltz right into the elevator without giving it a second thought. Why not take the stairs? This is a perfect opportunity to get your heart rate up and fit exercise into your workday.
Make commuting through the halls a little more interesting with some walk-lunges. You may receive some interesting stares from co-workers, but have a sense of humor. Maybe they’ll join in and walk-lunge their way to the break room with you. Lunges are another great office exercise to strengthen your leg muscles.
5. Don’t forget to stretch
Sitting in an office can wreak havoc on your joints, leaving you feeling stiff and lethargic. Prevent neck and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel and stiff ankles, by making sure to take a 5 minute break every hour or so and stretch. Start with your neck, and then move onto your shoulders, wrists, and ankles.
6. There’s an App for that
Hold yourself accountable with an app that helps you track your activity. There are multiple health and fitness apps available for your smartphone or mobile device. Many of these apps allow you to track your steps, exercises, and calorie intake. Some apps allow you to network with friends, so you can hold each other accountable while sparking some healthy competition.
7. Stash a pair of dumbbells in your drawer
They are small enough to keep handy in the office. Tone your arms while you’re on the phone or in a web meeting.
Find ways to stay active, despite your medical office setting. Don’t let your muscles fall asleep, your joints stiffen, and your metabolism slow down. Think outside the box and blend more movement into your day.
How a sedentary lifestyle (sitting too much every day) can seriously endanger your health. (2009, September30) Womens Health. Retrieved from:
Inactivity and cancer risk: the latest research. (2014, June 25). American Institute for Cancer Research. Retrieved from:
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