On average, Australians spend 70 per cent of their work day sitting down. For most of us, that’s more than five hours glued to a chair!
While some sedentary behaviour is unavoidable, it’s important to focus on your health and wellbeing at work to reduce the risk of illness and increase overall productivity.
Cancer Council Queensland has five top tips to get you started.
1. Stand up. Implement simple strategies to break up prolonged periods of sitting. Why not request standing meetings or make an effort to stand while talking on the telephone? Research shows frequent micro breaks improve comfort, work performance and overall wellbeing.
2. Take a break. When your schedule fills up, it feels easier to eat on the go. However, it’s important to make your break a priority. Block out a break in your calendar each day to avoid the temptation of eating at your desk. Spend the time re-energising with a walk around the block, having lunch with friends, or simply doing gentle muscle stretches.
3. Assess your desk. Notice aches and pains after a long day in the office? Poor posture and incorrect desk ergonomics may be the cause. When sitting on your chair you should be able to put your feet flat on the floor, with knees in line with your hips. Position your computer screen directly in front of you, with the top of the screen approximately 2-3 inches above eye level. Sit at least an arm’s length away for maximum comfort.
4. Stretch. Every 20 minutes, stop and stretch for 30 seconds. Gently stretch your neck, shoulders, back, arms and feet to keep your muscles, bones and joints in fine form. If you work at a computer, frequently take your eyes off the screen to avoid strain. Roll your eyes a couple of times and focus on objects at various distances, before returning to the screen.
5. Get social. With such a large percentage of our day spent at work, it’s important to spend time interacting with colleagues. Not only will you make new friends, but socialising for small snippets throughout the day can boost morale, build a sense of community and heighten creativity.
Use these five tips to help spice up your office life – the healthy way.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Senior Media Advisor
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5345
Mobile: 0428 580 363