Sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on the body and physical health. Poor blood circulation is common among those who have sedentary jobs. The average American spends nearly 10 hours sitting down every day. Excessive sitting has also been linked to higher blood pressure levels, and an increased risk of developing DVTs, diabetes, and heart disease later in life. Things we take for granted like the pain-free use of our legs, for example, can also be chalked up to good circulation.
Here are our best tips for increasing blood flow and staying more active at the office.
1. Stretch at your desk
Poor circulation usually occurs in the body’s extremities, including hands and feet. It’s not always possible to leave your desk to stretch your legs and get the blood moving, so it’s best to have a few stretches in mind that you can do at your desk.
Click HERE to get a list of stretches you can do at your desk.
2. Use a Footrest
Lifting your feet off the floor and onto a footrest can help with circulation. A footrest at an angle of 30 degrees was found to reduce swelling by 1%.
3. Go for a walk and get moving
Instead of picking up the phone, take a walk to your colleague’s desk or set a timer to remind you to stand up and walk around your office once every hour.
Most offices allow for a lunch break, usually ranging between 30 minutes and an hour. Try to use this break to go for a short walk, even if it’s just to take your lunch outside or walk to a local establishment to grab a bite out.
Getting the blood moving will also help stop the afternoon slump.
4. Stay Hydrated
Keep water at your desk. When the body is well hydrated the heart doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood. Warm water is particularly beneficial as it encourages the veins to expand, thus allowing more room for blood to flow.
Chilled water, on the other hand, may cause the veins to close up.