10 Things to Keep at Your Desk for a Healthier Workday

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Dr. James Levine is known for saying, “Sitting is the new smoking.” While you've probably heard this before, know that it’s more than just a catchy buzzphrase—his words hold some truth. According to studies, spending six hours or more per day in a seated position can increase the risk of diabetes, depression, obesity, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.
If you have an office job, staying below that six-hour threshold may not be possible (unless you’re lucky enough to get your boss to invest in a standing desk). And you’re not alone: Americans spend an average of nine to 10 hours per day parked on their bottoms, escalating the risks even higher.
Before you start planning a walkout with your other chair-ridden co-workers, you can take some steps to make your workspace more conducive to better health. By keeping these good-for-you items on and around your desk, you'll ensure that your seated hours are spent as wisely as possible.
  1. Stability ball: Sitting in a regular desk chair for hours on end can lead to slouching and poor posture. When you trade the chair for a stability ball or yoga ball, even just for an hour or two a day, it will force you to sit up straight and balance your body weight, which will help to prevent back pain and activate the core muscles. As an added bonus, you’ll burn a few extra calories.
  2. Air purifier: For some office workers, daily extended exposure to airborne allergens and chemicals can cause discomfort, headaches and nausea. If you don’t have access to a window near your desk for ventilation, try keeping a small air purifier on your desk to reduce indoor air pollutants and keep you mentally energized.
  3. Water bottle: With all of the health-boosting benefits of hydration, a water bottle should be just as much a staple of your workday as a phone or computer. Sip throughout the day to promote healthy digestion, metabolism and nutrient absorption. Regular fluid intake will also help boost energy levels and mental focus.
  4. Standing desk: If it’s an option at your workplace, consider switching to a standing desk for part of the day. Some experts believe that so-called “active desks” can help to boost metabolism by encouraging more movement, and also promote improved posture and core strength. (That said, standing for the entire day could eventually lead to its own aches and pains, so shoot for a healthy balance.)
  5. Comfortable walking shoes. Even if you can’t wear them while you’re working, keeping them in plain sight will make it easier and more likely for you to take short walking breaks throughout the day or during your lunch hour. If you live close enough, you could even change into them to walk to and from work (or just to your intentionally far-parked vehicle).
  6. Light dumbbells. These are great for working in mini strength training sessions. Take quick breaks throughout the workday to do a quick set of bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises or shoulder presses (or squeeze them in during a conference call).
  7. Healthy snacks. Silence the 3 p.m. siren song of the vending machine by stocking your desk with nutritious and filling snacks like homemade trail mix, dried fruit, carrot sticks and hummus and whole-grain crackers. They’ll help keep you fueled from lunch to dinner, and give you the strength you need to resist those break-room donuts.
  8. A plant. Some research shows that incorporating elements of nature into an indoor workspace can help to boost creativity, mental focus and overall wellness, while reducing stress and creating a sense of calm.
  9. Stress ball. A big part of staying healthy at work is finding constructive (or at least not unhealthy) ways to manage the inevitable stressful periods. When you feel yourself feeling anxious, overwhelmed or tense, try squeezing a stress ball as an outlet for that negative energy.
  10. Sources of inspiration. Find a few visual sources of inspiration to keep you motivated throughout the workday and remind you of your “why.” This might include a framed family photo, meaningful quotes or mantras, a special card from a loved one or any other item that encourages and uplifts you in your journey to optimal health.
Do you keep any of these things at your workplace? Is there anything not on this list that you’d recommend including?

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SUNSET09 6/2/2021
I have given up my heels for sneakers, SparkFriends. Oh yeah Report
SNUZYQ2 5/26/2021
These tips are all fabulous ideas for keeping a leg up on fitness and overall health. Thank you so much! Report
JORGENSEN230 5/11/2021
Thanks for Sharing.

https:// www.mcdvoice.ltd / Report
GOFORGIN 5/2/2021
Ok Report
A few of us shared a stability ball. Report
JUSTJ2014 4/27/2021
Great article Report
PATRICIA-CR 4/27/2021
Great suggestions. Report
CD26750174 4/14/2021
Ty Report
ON_A_DIET 2/12/2021
Thank you for the tips! Personally, my Keurig is next to my desk for homemade mochas and I usually keep a seltzer on my desk.

I allow myself the mochas as treats for a productive work day. I use seltzers often for that daily water intake. However, I do like getting in water intake by healthy iced tea, lemonade, iced coffee, etc. A diet Coke every so often for a little rejuvenation! Also, I am obsessed with mocktails! (I even have a team for mocktails!)

I keep a fitness pedal exerciser at my desk. I like to do 30 minutes while listening to podrunner.

My main meal is a big dinner! I love my pasta.

I recently found Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels at Dollar Tree that are delicious as a little thing to munch on throughout my workday.

I work from home as a freelance writer and work as a barista.

Thanks again!

MYRANDA30 1/31/2021
These are great ideas. I shall take my 2lb weights n find a small plant. Already do the snacks.

And for those that can't do these maybe it was here to jog ideas of what you can do that's right for your situation.
I have also workout loops easily fits in pocket or purse.
I used to have a quick workout list I posted on wall in bathroom for all to use. Report
Great reminders. I find if I’m about to eat
mindlessly, I need to get to something
physical to stop it. Sometimes I sit alone and
meditate/pray in my blessings and things
I really need to do, then organize in my
mind. That motivates me.
Also, I love the small projects, like cleaning
out drawers, closets etc (away from food)
with organization and a donation box
nearby. A win-win situation. Report
thanks Report
I have most of everything that was listed except for the stability ball. Report
Good tips for those that work. I have been retired for awhile now. Report
The stress ball and dumbbell are great ideas! I keep a grip strengthener on my desk - it's like both in one! Report
Great tips.Thanks for sharing. Report
Thank you Report
Helpful ideas. Thanks! Report
great article thanks Report
great ideas Report
Thank you Report
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fantastic Report
Great ideas Report
At my last job many of these things were possible. I am running all day at this job so many are not reasonable. True, sometimes writers of articles may want to use a bit of sense when suggesting items or ideas~ Report
I already have some of these in my office. I should get a plant too! Report
So glad I'm retired if that's what we are expected to include in an open office with 20 other people and 6 mail examination machines with assorted additional mail movement trays. There isn't any room as it is. Report
great article thanks Report
Great Report
Good suggestion Report
Thanks Report
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fantastic ideas Report
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Thanks for sharing Report
Wonder how many people have room for all that at work or if boss would agree. Report
great article Report
good article Report
Great if you have an office and if your boss will let you have those things in your office. I'm a nurse and I can't have any if that in the nurses station and I know my boss can't have any of that in her offfice Report
Thank you
Thanks Report
good article Report
great ideas Report
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Love these ideas! Thank you! Report
Great ideas Report
I never thought of a stress ball. Standing desks weren't options Report
OMG...Thanks, Melissa. I shall print this and post it on the wall I stare into daily!! Good ideas. Report