Though sitting down rarely seems like a risky thing to do, staying parked too long can contribute to a number of health problems. In addition to causing varicose veins and spider veins, spending too much of your time in a chair can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, reduce your life expectancy and slow your metabolism.
Unfortunately, about 80 percent of Americans now work desk jobs that force them to sit for long hours with little movement. Many people do their best to counteract this with regular trips to the gym, but the unfortunate fact is this: it’s hard, if not impossible, to offset 8 hours on your butt with a mere 30 minutes at the gym.
To prevent varicose veins at work and keep your cardiovascular system healthy, it helps to become more active every minute of every day, and this includes the time you spend at the office. Though you might not be able to pop out for a few minutes at the gym during your lunch breaks, there are many ways you can incorporate more movement into your workday.
Ready to ditch the sedentary lifestyle? Start getting more active at work by:
- Going for a walk. Every minute you aren’t working is an opportunity to get out of your chair. Getting more active at work can be as simple as taking a walk to the water cooler, heading across the office to talk to a coworker, or strolling to a restaurant down the street for a healthy lunch. Even if you’re only going a few feet, take every chance you get to stand and stretch your legs.
- Investing in an exercise ball. Sitting on an exercise ball is much more physically engaging than sitting in a chair—spend your day parked on one of these big, elastic balls and you’ll be constantly working your core and back muscles. Though you may not think that the incidental activity offered by an exercise ball feels like much, it can add up over time and help prevent varicose veins at work.
- Rethinking your desk. Standing desks may not be the norm in today’s offices quite yet, but they’re definitely becoming more popular. Talk to your boss about getting a standing desk or creating a standing workstation in your office for you and your coworkers to share. Just remember that standing too long in one place can cause varicose veins, too—try splitting your time between sitting and standing or even trying a treadmill desk (which is exactly what it sounds like).
It can be tough to prevent varicose veins at work if you’re spending the vast majority of your time sitting down. What else has helped you become more active at work? Tell us your favorite workplace strategies in the comments below!