How To Stay Healthy At A Desk Job?

As someone who spends a lot of time at a desk job, I know how challenging it can be to stay healthy. Sitting for long periods can cause back pain, poor posture, and weight gain.

However, once you discover how to stay healthy at a desk job, you’ll feel better and more energetic both at work and at home. Office jobs often require hours of sitting and concentrating on tasks that rely more on brainpower than physical effort, which can affect your well-being.

While it’s important to stay productive, it’s even more crucial to take steps to stay healthy. This post will show you how to make a few simple changes to your daily routine to do both. You’ll get the job done, even better, and stay healthy at the same time at your desk.

How To Stay Healthy at a Desk Job?

There are 5 main keys to staying healthy while you’re confinned to a desk all day. So, let’s delve into each and see if there are any changes you can make.

Maintaining Good Posture At Your Desk

Maintaining good posture is crucial. When you sit or stand up straight it ensures that your bones and joints are aligned correctly. This enables your muscles and tendons to function like they’re meant to. Good posture can help or eliminate pain in your back, neck and shoulders. It will also ensure that your lungs have enough to room to fully expand when you’re sitting.

Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful for maintaining good posture at my desk:

  • Sit up straight: This may seem obvious, but it’s important to make a conscious effort to sit up straight throughout the day. I try to keep my shoulders back and my feet flat on the floor, with my back pressed against the back of my office chair.
  • Adjust your chair: Office chairs can be hard on posture It’s important to make sure yours is adjusted properly. I like to adjust the height so that my feet are flat on the floor and my knees are at a 90-degree angle. I also make sure the backrest is supporting my lower back. You may need a small pillow or back support for the small of your back inorder to create a slight curvature there as you sit.
  • Take breaks: Even if you’re sitting with good posture, it’s important to take breaks throughout the day. I like to stand up and stretch every hour or so, just to give my muscles a break and get my blood flowing.
  • Use a headset: If you’re on the phone a lot, consider using a headset. Holding a phone between your ear and shoulder can lead to neck and shoulder pain over time.
  • Position your computer screen: Finally, make sure your computer screen is positioned properly. I like to position mine so that the top of the screen is at or slightly below eye level, and I make sure to sit far enough away from the screen to avoid eye strain.

Creating an Ergonomic Workspace

It’s important it is to have an ergonomic workspace. This means setting up your desk and equipment in a way that promotes good posture and reduces strain on your body.

Tips for creating an ergonomic workspace:

  • Adjust your desk: Your desk should be at the right height if at all possible. When you’re feet are flat on the floor and you’re sitting up straight, your elbows should be the same height as your desk.
  • Use a separate keyboard and mouse: If you’re using a laptop, it’s a good idea to invest in a separate keyboard and mouse. This will allow you to position them at the right height and distance for your body.
  • Get a laptop stand: Using a laptop stand helps raise your screen to eye level, reducing strain on your neck. If you don’t have a stand, you can use books or a box to prop up your laptop.
  • Use a mouse pad: A mouse pad provides cushioning for your wrist and helps reduce strain on your hand.
  • Position your monitor correctly: Your monitor (whether it’s a laptop or PC) should be directly in front of you and at arm’s length. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. Here’s a tip if you wear glasses, especially bifocals: Measure the distance between your face and the screeen. Have your eye doctor make a set of glasses for you to see the screen at that distance and maybe bifocal lense inserted for reading at closer distances.

Move Around At Your Desk

It’s easy to get caught up in work and forget about moving. However, regular movement is crucial to staying healthy and avoiding the negative effects of prolonged sitting.

When we sit for long periods, our muscles become inactive, leading to a decrease in blood flow and a slower metabolism. This usually results in weight gain, poor circulation, and even an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

How to Exercise Sitting at a Desk All Day?

To combat these negative effects, it’s important to incorporate regular movement into our daily routines. This can be as simple as taking short breaks every hour to stand up, stretch, or walk around.

In addition to standing and stretching, incorporating exercise into your routine is most beneficial. This doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym every day; even small amounts of exercise, such as a quick walk or some light strength training, can make a difference.

Underdesk Exercise Bikes for Staying Healthy at a Desk Job

Exercise bikes, that aren’t really bikes, but a set of pedals that fit under your desk are great for any one sitting for long periods. They’re small, easy to move around, and fit under your desk. Here’s why you need one to stay your healthies at a desk job:

  1. Improves Cardiovascular Health: One of the main benefits of using an underdesk exercise bike is that it can help improve cardiovascular health. Regular use of the bike can increase heart rate, improve blood circulation, and lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  2. Boosts Mental Health: Exercise is known to release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Using an underdesk exercise bike can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to improved mental health.
  3. Increases Energy Levels: Sitting for extended periods can lead to fatigue and a decrease in energy levels. Using an underdesk exercise bike can help combat this by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain, leading to improved cognitive function and alertness.
  4. Burns Calories: Pedaling on an underdesk exercise bike burns calories, helping users maintain a healthy weight. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who have a sedentary job and struggle to find time to exercise outside of work.
  5. Improves Posture: Sitting for long periods can lead to poor posture and back pain. Using an underdesk exercise bike engages core muscles, improving posture and reducing the risk of back pain.

If you’re not peddaling an under desk bike at work, I would definitely check out this page for the best ones.

Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk

Here are some exercises you can do while sitting at your desk to stay active and feel good:

  1. Seated Marches: Lift one knee up towards your chest, hold for a second, then lower it back down. Do the same with the other leg. This helps get your blood flowing and works your leg muscles.
  2. Ankle Rotations: Lift one foot off the ground and rotate your ankle in circles. Do this for about 10-15 seconds, then switch to the other ankle. This can help improve your circulation.
  3. Shoulder Shrugs: Raise your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for a few seconds, then relax them back down. Repeat a few times to help release tension in your shoulders.
  4. Seated Twist: Sit up straight and place your right hand on the back of your chair. Twist your upper body to the right, hold for a few seconds, then return to the center. Repeat on the left side. This helps stretch your back and improve flexibility.
  5. Neck Stretches: Slowly tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then switch to the other side. You can also look up and down to stretch the front and back of your neck.
  6. Wrist Stretches: Extend one arm out in front of you with your palm facing up. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back towards you, stretching your wrist and forearm. Hold for a few seconds, then switch arms.

Doing these simple exercises can help you feel more comfortable and keep your body active, even when you’re sitting at your desk for long periods.

Taking Regular Breaks

Taking breaks doesn’t really mean going for a walk, or to the break room, as much as just stopping what you’re doing for a couple of minutes. However, if it’s possible, especially when you work at home and tend to get glued to the computer, you can take longer breaks.

Taking a break every now and then (every hour or so), will help reduce eye strain, headaches, prevent muscle stiffness, and actually improve your productivity.

I like to stand up and stretch my legs to help improve blood flow. This is the perfect time to do the exercises listed above, too.

If at all possible, try walking around the office, or your desk. You will be surprised at how much better you’re focus will be when you sit down to work again.

Regular breaks shouldn’t mean you’re being unproductive. Instead, these regular breaks will help improve your productivity.


Sitting at a desk for a job for long hours can lead to a lot of health issues which can be prevented when you know how.

Just making small changes like maintaining good posture, creating an ergonomic workspace, and incorporating movement and exercises into your daily routine, you can significantly improve your health.

Regular breaks and using an under desk exercise bike can really make a difference in your overall health, how you feel, and your energy levels. So, as you can see from this post, knowing how to stay healthy at a desk job can change your health and life.

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