Do you spend all day sitting at a desk, working on a computer? Whether you are a software developer, financial analyst, legal secretary, or any other desk-bound professional, you might love the work you do, but sitting at a desk all day can have negative impacts on your health. Luckily, there are a variety of steps you can take to help combat some of the most common problems associated with desk jobs. Your local Atlanta chiropractor can play an integral part in helping you find solutions.
Problem: Uncomfortable Desk Chair
One of the most common complaints of individuals who spend all day working at a desk is that they have an uncomfortable chair. Not only can an uncomfortable chair make your back, neck, and buttocks ache during the long hours you spend sitting at your desk every day, but it can also create muscle tension that leaves you feeling sore even when you’re outside the office. As a result, it can be harder for you to enjoy your leisure time with family and friends. Residual soreness from an uncomfortable desk chair can also disrupt your sleep. Here are some solutions you might want to think about:
- Get a new desk chair. Depending on the organization where you work, you may be able to swap out your uncomfortable desk chair for a swivel chair designed specifically for back pain relief. Another option is a stability ball, which forces you to sit with better posture engage your core, hip, and leg muscles. You could also opt for a standing desk or a treadmill desk to get you on your feet for more time each day.
- Get regular chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments can help ease the tension that builds up when you sit at a desk all day. By loosening up muscles and improving circulation, it can relieve the soreness you experience both inside and outside the office.
- Take regular stretch breaks. Getting up and moving around every hour or so allows you to exercise different muscles, which can help relieve the strain on the muscles that grow tense when you sit at your desk for hours on end. Your chiropractor may be able to recommend some stretches or other gentle exercises that specifically target your tightest muscles. No matter what your quick breaks look like, periodically getting your blood flowing can increase your alertness and make you more productive throughout the day.
Problem: Vending Machine Food
The vending machine is the scourge of every office. As the day drags on, you’re bound to get hungry, especially if a heavy workload forces you to work through lunch or even dinner. When you get caught up with the work at your desk, going out to find a healthy snack just doesn’t seem feasible, and the junk food in the vending machine or the break room is so convenient… As a result, you’ll probably end up choosing highly processed foods, like potato chips and packaged cookies, that don’t fill you up or give you the high-quality nutrition you need to get through the day at your best. On the other hand, if you resist the urge for a vending machine snack during the day, you might end up compensating by eating too much at dinner or bingeing on dessert at night, which can derail your weight loss efforts.
One way to avoid the daily temptation of the vending machine at your office is to pack your own snacks each day and store some non-perishable extras in your desk drawer for unexpected cravings. If you’re not sure what to pack, your chiropractor may be able to offer some nutritional advice to help you come up with a reasonable plan for meals and snacks at work that can support all of your health goals, whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy, or get the age group win in your upcoming local 5K. To start you off, here are few quick, healthy ideas that you can easily carry to work or store in your desk:
A single serving of almonds contains 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 14 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, all of which can help you feel full throughout the day. Plus, they can easily be stored in your desk drawer for weeks without going bad, so they can come in handy if you forget to pack another snack.
- Dried Tart Cherries
Like almonds, dried cherries can be stored in your desk drawer, and they can provide the hint of sweetness that you might otherwise satisfy with an unhealthy candy bar. Plus, they are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that can support heart health. If falling asleep is a problem for you, dried tart cherries also contain melatonin, which can help regulate your sleep cycle.
- Meal Replacement Shakes
When you don’t have time for a regular lunch, a meal replacement shake can be a useful alternative. These functional foods provide high quality protein to curb your appetite, and they can give you the energy you need for a productive afternoon. Plus, having a meal during the day — even a meal replacement shake — can help you avoid overindulging in the evening.
- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt, which can help you stay fuller for longer, and it also contains less sugar, which reduces the number of calories per serving. If you are looking to lose weight, it’s usually best to choose low-fat or fat-free versions. Although you’ll have to remember to pack Greek yogurt in the mornings, many companies offer convenient single-serving options that are easy to carry if you’re strapped for time.
At Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness, our chiropractors offer spinal adjustments and nutritional counseling, both of which can help you avoid the potential health problems associated with working a desk job. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!