My Desk Job Is Killing Me!

I sit at a desk for about fifty hours per week in a 12′ x 15′ cell office. I know it’s bad for me, but it’s my job, and there isn’t a heck of a lot I can do about it right now.

Inactivity is bad for you. That is common sense. However, many studies have shown that inactivity is bad for you even if you exercise. That is a little more surprising. However, there are little things I do to try and combat my sedentary lifestyle.

1) Take the Stairs

IMG_0323.JPG

Sure, the stairs in my building are terrifying… but so are the elevators. My office is on the fifth floor and I can usually manage to make three or four round trips every day. I try and spread them out a little bit and I find that it definitely helps.

2) Get Up and Move Around

Most of the studies have shown that you don’t need to do much to receive a significant benefit. There isn’t a consensus on why that is – but it’s probably related to glucose, insulin, metabolic changes, mitochondria and boogers. Just kidding. It has nothing to do with boogers.

3) Go For Walks

I am able to take short breaks at my job and I almost always go for a walk. This can be quite enjoyable in the summer.

Summer in Syracuse

Summer in Syracuse

It is slightly less fun in winter.

Winter in Syracuse

Winter in Syracuse

Now, I’m not from here originally. But the people here are “tough” – they don’t want to hear you complaining about the cold and snow. If you ever visit here, don’t whine or bring it up in conversation.

4) Run!

Of course, last but not least, I run! I’m not a run streaker, but I run year-round. Sure, it sucks when it’s 0 degrees (a.k.a. -18C). However, I think it makes the 70-degree days that much better!

Any other office dwellers? What do you do to keep moving?

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28 Responses to My Desk Job Is Killing Me!

  1. I drag myself out of bed at 5am to get in a good solid run before work. Other than that I’m pretty terrible – I’ve been known to sit at my desk for almost 8 hours straight with my only movement being one or two toilet breaks. Really bad habit, but I just want to get the job done so I can go home to the rest of my life!

  2. FLRunnerBoy says:

    Yes, I do work in an office but my job is by no means sedentary. I’m a medical assistant so I’m walking hallway up to 9 hours per day.

  3. pauldburton says:

    Have you considered getting a standing desk? The adjustable height means you can sit or stand to work.

  4. tinyrunner85 says:

    Yep I’m stuck at a desk all day too :-(. I try and make a point of getting away from my desk and going for a little walk around the building at least once every hour. It’s nice to give my eyes a short break from the computer too 🙂

  5. Mark says:

    I also work in an office, and it drives me fucking mental but it’s good and bad. For one, it allows me to get in both a gym workout and run on a workday and keep a regular schedule whereas non-office type jobs can come in all shapes and sizes (by which I only mean possible different working hours) I guess what I’m trying to say is ‘desk’.

  6. Piper's Run says:

    There is a program you can download that “turns your computer screen off” every hour (you can also hit cancel) but it forces you to get up from your desk more often. We have a stand up desk in our office and I sometimes get up and stretch at my desk, look outside and not at the screen when on phone calls etc. Sitting sucks 😦

  7. Piper's Run says:

    The program is called “Eyes relax”.

  8. Epi Ren says:

    It wasn’t until I started working at a state health department that my weight really ballooned. Had it not been for running/jogging/walking, I would probably be well into the 350lb range. Though I have a lot of work to do to repair the damage of those six years, I owe my life to taking the stairs, walking and public transportation, and from eating more fresh vegetables. Now that I’m at school, I sit for hour to two-hour stretches, but it’s not all day, and I walk up and down the building to my next class as much as possible. I’ve been able to pack in 10,000 steps per day, runs excluded.

    One of my colleagues works for a biotech in DC, and she just now got a treadmill desk in her office. That makes me very jealous. I would have killed for one of those at the office. In fact, my wife and I have agreed that my next job after school will not be a desk job. Something in the field will suit me just fine.

  9. Hollie says:

    When I worked in Oswego, I felt like I was always sitting. I’m glad I’m much more active working in retail which is nice. Where are you from originally? (Why on Earth did you stay in Syracuse? LOL)

  10. WalkToRio says:

    I also have to work 8-10 hours a day in an office, I workout early morning and after work but during the day I need to move. I keep going upstairs (my office is on the ground floor and IT on the 6th floors) to check on the guys. I don’t have to but it’s entertaining and keeps me moving.

  11. Dan Button says:

    Convincing the company to get me a stand up desk was great, even though I do sit down sometimes. It has seemed to help a lot. It makes me shift by my weight and keep moving quite often.

  12. YogiCrystal says:

    I also run about 3 – 4 times per week and try to do some yoga at home, but you’re right – even the 40 hours of sitting at work can get to me. I try to make an effort to move around, but sometimes I get in a groove and don’t get up. Not good! Recently got a fitness band tracker and I’m finding that the steps goal is motivating/reminding me to get up out of my chair!

  13. bgddyjim says:

    I have my bike on a trainer in the office to keep my shape during the winter and I run more often then too. I like my desk job though.

  14. Andrea says:

    I spend most of my day sitting too. I park about 5 blocks from work so at least I have a morning and evening walk. I usually pack my lunch, but try to at least take a 15 min walk at lunchtime. It’s hard though…I hate thinking that running and being active isn’t enough to undo the damage I do during the day!

  15. Angie says:

    I have my desk set-up so I have to stand instead of sit. I do end up sitting towards the end of the day because I get tired of standing. I also bring my dog to work so she ensures we take lots of little walk breaks (that’s a total bonus).

  16. Rachel B says:

    I feel like with teaching I’m either GO GO GO or sitting for hours on end… In my plan periods, I try to get up at least once every hour or 90 mins to use the bathroom or I print copies to a far copy machine or something of that nature to actually move around a bit. Some days when I teach most of the day I hardly sit at all and it sucks because I feel drained when I finally leave for the day and get to go run! Today I was at school for 11 hours (so fun… wait….) and sat the majority of that time (minus the 3.5 hours I taught)… I think staying really well hydrated and being sure “sedentary” doesn’t mean I let everything else health wise go and eat like crap and all that, I’m able to keep myself feeling fairly good despite working as much as I do

    Also… Props for Syracuse… Upstate NY definitely keeps things interesting in the winter!

  17. Renee says:

    I try to walk around and to always take the stairs. I know I sit too much.

  18. Shawna says:

    totally hear you and bemoan my desk life every day…except that it pays for me to live where i want to live, and go to grad school, and travel…soooo, for now, i’m trying to make the best of it.

  19. piratebobcat says:

    I also get up and take a few walks around the building when I can – I think it creeps out the coworkers who don’t know why I’m in their area. I also go to the gym at lunch.

  20. I work 12 hour shifts, some days im all over the place walking 12,000 steps, other days I only get 8,000. I try to take the steps and walk to talk to people instead of calling them. seems to help. Although, you have a much better walk then I do when I go outside haha

  21. In addition to the tactics you mention here, I also: park way in the back of the parking lot to get in the extra steps, drink water out of small cups so I’m forced to get up to refill relatively frequently, stand up while on the phone, and I’m also in the process of lobbying for an adjustable desk that would allow me to stand and work on my computer for several hours per day.

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