Staying Active and Healthy While Working at Your Desk

Arizona Injury Law Group


Nobody ever talks about those employees who work long hours at their desks. If you sit for long periods of time, your muscles begin to shrink, especially if you were toned up before starting this job. Unless you already have some type of exercise program in place you do every morning or evening after work, a lot can start happening to your body, and none of it is good.

Here is a brief list of things that can happen to you:

  • Obesity, that pesky roll of body fat around your waist and snacking too much because data entry can be boring,
  • Increased blood pressure, usually from job stress and people who want work done yesterday,
  • Heart problems, because even though it is pumping blood, you need cardio exercise almost every day (running or walking fast, jogging, bicycling, swimming, etc.),
  • Lack of restful sleep, again, think of job stress as well as tired strained eyes from looking at the monitor all day long,
  • Loss of leg, back, and arm strength, because everything is just resting in place, except your typing fingers.

Job Stress
Admittedly, long-haul truck drivers also fit this same scenario, too. But a few of the suggestions presented in this article will not work for them. Please feel free to choose solutions, however.

The goal is to keep people active at work, even if they have a desk job. Unless an illness or injury is proven to have been caused by sitting too long at your desk, year after year, you are unlikely to receive workers’ compensation insurance and benefits when things go wrong with your body. There is slipping in a small puddle of water and falling to the ground if the puddle did not get cleaned up in time and you did not see it.

The only injury right now that does automatically receive benefits is carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by constant typing on a daily basis. This injury can affect not only your hands, but also your arms, upper back, and shoulders. Let us look at a few solutions for staying active while sitting at your desk.


There are exercises you can do while taking a five-minute break each hour. First, you can add ankle weights, and when break time comes (set your computer clock) and do this. Extend one leg up to 45 degrees from your seated position, then bend it, extend your leg straight again, and lower your foot to rest on the ground. Now work the other leg the same way. Repeat again for each leg.

If there is a long hall by your desk, you can get up and walk the hallway once or twice until it is time to sit down again and go back to work. Carry small hand weights if you like and exercise your arms. Find two rubber balls that you can squish in your hand to exercise the hands. The squish level should have enough resistance to profit from exercising your hands.


If you are lucky enough to have a gym at your workplace, you can go there to work out, using some of the machines they provided. Or you can do a long walk for 30 minutes across the building, or outside if there is a suitable path or track. Eat lunch after your workout, not before. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, as desired.

When you begin implementing your exercise program, start small so you do not injure yourself, especially if you are out of shape. You can add on more exercises as you get stronger. Walk first before taking on running or jogging exercises.

Additionally, do deep breathing exercises too as, usually, you do not take deep breaths while sitting in a chair. This helps get oxygen to your brain and you will think clearly. Keep your back straight while seated instead of hunching your shoulder forward to view the computer screen. It is easier to breathe deeper while sitting up straight. Try out this upper back brace.


Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation! 480-300-7273.

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