Why Moving Around is Important When you work a Desk Job
It seems that there is a constant drawback that comes as a price for progress. For instance, we have better health and cleanliness standards but you still have to take time out of your day, possibly every day to take a bath, brush your teeth and comb your hair when you could be doing other things. Kids can use computers even faster and more competently than their parents. This can be good for their future careers, but bad for the parents who have a harder time controlling what their kid gets access to. But, the biggest example of a drawback that comes as a price of progress is that we have more jobs that give us a chance to do tasks faster and more efficiently in an office, only to have it cost us our health.
Being an office worker is a deadly career move. Just as deadly as being a stuntman or an acrobat. However, instead of running the risk of an accidental fall or decapitation, the sort of risks involved are slow building, chronic, and lifelong. Office work, for the most part, is sedentary work. It requires little motion compared to other jobs and what motion it does involve is enough to kill your fine motor skills and hand motion for the rest of your life.
So, what can you do to counteract or delay the inevitable effects of working a desk job? Exercise, and good nutrition.
We covered the nutrition part of things, so now we are going to point out just why it is important to move around when you work a desk job.
Exercise Evens out your Moods
Let’s be honest with ourselves. If you have any job working with the public for extended periods of time, whether that involves customer service in front of a register, answering phone calls at a desk, or working at an I.T. department, you know you are on the verge of losing your mind. People, whether you like them or not, can be demanding. Pushy superiors, overzealous coworkers, and impolite customers can be enough to stress you out for a single shift, let alone repeated years of it until you either die or retire. (But who are we kidding, in this economy NO ONE RETIRES). However, while you may be on the verge of setting your office on fire, and telling Linda what you really think of her tasteless brownies, I suggest an alternative route to complete catharsis. Exercise.
Not many people are attracted to the notion of putting yourself through the potential embarrassment and physical pain that exercise can do to you, especially when someone suggests you join a gym.
Exercise and Depression
However, there are some benefits to exercise that can outweigh those setbacks. There are articles that go as far back as 1987 that point out that regular exercise can decrease the severity of things like mental illness and depression. There are a few explanations that are more likely based on observable data about why that is.
- Regular exercise increases the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that is partly responsible for the regulation of mood, sleep, and appetite.
- It also increases the production of endorphins, another brain chemical that is responsible for the feeling of happiness.
- When enough serotonin and endorphins are produced, your immune system works better, and your sleep cycle becomes more regulated.
Outdoor Exercise is Best
Another thing that was observed, was that regular exercise outside seemed to have better benefits than indoor exercise. Which could be a subliminal reason behind the aversion to the gym.
- Some recent studies have found people report a higher level of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure, and self-esteem, and a lower level of tension, depression, and fatigue, after they have walked outside.
- People who exercise outside also say they are more likely to exercise again than those who stay indoors.
Research shows that vitamin D can help us to fight disease. This is something that we can naturally be able to get by being out in the sunshine.
While we are still learning about what vitamin D can do for our bodies, studies do suggest it can protect us from a range of conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to heart attacks and depression.
So, not only is outdoor exercise good for your body, but it is also good for your brain chemistry by putting you in a better mood.
Why Moving Around is Better for your Boss and your Clients
So, you know how much regular exercise can benefit you, but maybe you are not able to find the time at work. How would you convince your boss to extend your lunch time or allow you to work a few days remotely for your health?
Simple. When you explain to your boss that you need this time for your health, you need to stress the point that they benefit from it.
- According to the CDC, when workers are happy and healthy, they are likely to be more productive.
- People going to work when they’re sick (presenteeism)accounts for nearly 2/3rds of the cost when it comes to worker illness.
- Full-time workers in the United States who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health problems miss about 450 million more days of work than healthy workers, costing more than 153 billion a year.
This is the sort of long-term loss that can be rectified if both office workers and their bosses took the time to implement a strategy that would allow some time for workers to move around for at least a half hour a day.
So, why is it important to move around when you are in an office job? The short answer is that it elevates the mood of workers, decreases stress and long-term depression, and it can save companies billions of dollars. Nobody loses their minds and everybody wins.