How to Increase Blood Flow at the Office
The average American spends nearly 10 hours sitting down every day. Excessive sitting has been linked to higher blood pressure levels, and an increased risk of developing DVTs, diabetes and heart disease later in life. Many people work in environments that are not especially friendly to an active lifestyle. Desk jobs often force employees to stay stagnant for long periods of time, leading to a slower metabolism, weakened muscle tone, and even lowered mental stability due to stress. When sitting 7-10 hours per day, even 30 minutes of physical activity can make a world of difference, and there is no reason your traditional office environment can’t incorporate this into it. Here are our best tips for increasing blood flow and staying more active at the office.
Take Your Lunch Break on the Go
Most offices allow for a lunch break, usually ranging between 30 minutes and an hour. Try to use this break to go for a short walk, even if it’s just to take your lunch outside or walk to a local establishment to grab a bite out. Sitting and eating lunch at your desk is a wasted opportunity to get some steps in. Additionally, if you’re someone who enjoys a lighter lunch that can be enjoyed while walking, lots of options open up. Smoothies and protein shakes that can be enjoyed on a walk around the block can be an amazing way to get some physical activity into your workday.
Try a Standing Desk
When it comes to getting more active at the office, simply standing more is one of the best things you can do for your health. Studies have shown that vascular function is imparied after six hours sitting at a desk, and every extra hour increases the risk of CVD by 0.2 percent. To help increase circulation, blood flow, and reduce the risk of blood clots, it is recommended to stand at least two hours every day. Standing desks are a great way to prevent these negative effects of sitting. In fact, studies show that employees with standing desks can burn up to 87 more calories per day than those with regular desks. You can try a complete standing desk set-up, or you can get tabletop extensions that raise a computer up to standing level.
Use an Exercise Ball as an Office Chair
Another popular way to increase blood flow at your desk is to replace your traditional office chair with an inflatable exercise ball. Sitting on an exercise ball can help you burn more calories and keep you moving more throughout the day. It also engages your core, increases muscle tone, enhances posture, and improves balance all from the comfort of your desk.
Take the Stairs
There are so many other ways to stay moving at the office. For example, start taking the stairs instead of the elevator each day, bike to work instead of driving a car, and walk to the restroom or kitchen on the far side of the building. Little adjustments like these can really add up and boost your cardiovascular health.
Become More Active at Work Today
Fitness is an important part of a heart-healthy daily routine, and even though these tips aren’t rigorous exercises, they can be done from almost anywhere. Simple in-office changes like these can be extremely beneficial in keeping your blood pressure managed and improving circulation, two major cardiovascular threats. While helpful, these habits don’t replace regular visits to the cardiologist. Check out the amazing team at CVG, and develop the perfect routine for your heart. Additionally, check out our learning center for more helpful advice about heart health!