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Desk Jobs Ruin Health? 5 Habits to Reverse the Threats of Sitting

Office jobs offer stability. Working behind a desk offers you a stable, reliable work environment day after day. Most offices operate during daytime hours Monday through Friday and give time off for holidays and vacation. These policies give you a healthy balance between your personal and professional life. These are the reasons why most people prefer to work in an office environment. 


However, sitting for long periods is bad because the human body was not designed to be idle. Lack of movement slows metabolism, reducing the amount of food that is converted to energy and thus promoting fat accumulation, obesity, and the litany of ills—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and more—that come with being overweight. 


Today, we are sharing some hacks that can help you reduce the risks of sitting. 


#1 Drink More Water



The recommended daily water intake is: About 1.7 litres of plain water for men and about 1.5 litres of plain water for women. Water is not only essential for human health, but a study also shows that drinking 500 millilitres of water boosted the metabolic rate by 30 per cent in both men and women. Besides, when you drink more water, you will naturally need to get up from your seat more often to go toilet. 


Office workers often forget to drink water when they are too focused on work. Therefore, it’s important to constantly remind yourself to drink water. You can set reminders with your smartphone to ensure you drink adequate water throughout the day. 


#2 Maintain A Good Sitting Posture



Poor sitting posture can lead to many health problems, such as back, neck and shoulder pain, poor circulation, altered digestion, and even misaligned spine. Since office workers spend most of their time sitting on a chair, it is important to adopt the correct sitting position. We can improve our posture and achieve a proper sitting position by: 


  • keeping feet flat or rest them on either the floor or a footrest
  • avoiding crossing knees or ankles
  • maintaining a small gap between the back of the knees and the chair
  • positioning knees at the same height or slightly lower than the hips
  • placing ankles in front of the knees
  • relaxing the shoulders
  • keeping the forearms and knees parallel to the floor where possible
  • holding elbows at the sides creating an L-shape in the arms
  • sitting up straight and looking forward without straining the neck
  • keeping the back against the chair, or using a backrest or cushion if there are places where the back does not comfortably meet the chair, especially in the lower back region
  • avoiding sitting for long periods at a time, ideally taking at least a 10-minute break for every hour of sitting


#3 Be Mindful of Your Eating Habits



Prolonged sitting can compress the abdominal cavity thus slowing down digestion, which can lead to various issues like heartburn and constipation. Hence, it’s important to be mindful and aware of your eating schedule and food choices. 


Avoid skipping meals because it will result in tiredness, malnutrition and also slow down your metabolism, which can cause weight gain. If you don’t have enough time to eat due to back-to-back meetings or a heavy workload, you can grab some quick and healthy food for lunch. For example, you can prepare salad, granola, sandwiches or wraps. These foods can be stored in the fridge and don’t require heating. 


On the other hand, you must avoid stress-eating and overeating too. Pay attention to portion sizes and serving suggestions on the packaging to keep the size of your meal healthy and to discourage overeating. Opt for healthy and easy-to-digest food to keep yourself more alert and focused throughout the day. 


#4 Take a Lunch Hour Walk



It is not news, of course, that walking is healthy and that people who walk or otherwise exercise regularly tend to be more calm, alert and happy than people who are inactive. Taking a walk, even a gentle strolls, can immediately boost your mood and help you to combat afternoon slumps in enthusiasm and focus. Besides, by getting 5-15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands and face two to three times a week is enough to enjoy the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun. 


We highly recommend you to utilise your lunch break by stepping out of the building, take a short walk to explore lunch options at nearby places. 


#5 Avoid Office Junk Food



It is very hard to resist the indulgence in a cup of milo and some cookies from the office pantry during teatime. However, these free foods we eat at work usually include high amounts of refined grains and sodium and not enough whole grains or fruit. Besides, they are high in calories too! If you want to boost energy or to simply munch something, go for healthier snacks such as yoghurt, fruits and nuts. 


Work, besides making money, is a meaningful daily life activity — making something, serving someone, providing something of worth to others. Hope you enjoy your work and meanwhile, take good care of yourself because health is your greatest asset! 


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