Wednesday, 30 March 2016 08:44

Have an office job that keeps you on your butt all day? Or are you simply a homebody and TV addict, which keeps you glued to your couch? In today’s Age of the Workaholic, these descriptions seem to apply to everyone ­ working and slaving away all day behind a computer screen, fighting to sit down on the commute home, and finally ending the day sitting on a couch to unwind.

In a survey conducted by four NTU undergraduates, it was found that 95% of office workers in Singapore sit for more than 6 hours at work. Sitting for such long hours straight without taking breaks is called prolonged sitting, a worrying habit that might increase your risk of obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease and even premature death!

If you belong to this group of office workers who sit excessively, here’re some tips for you to get your bottoms up and off that chair! Trust us, your body would thank you for it!

1. Drink more water so you can get up for a toilet break.
Most of us forget to drink water when engrossed in work, while some even say they purposely avoid drinking water so that they don’t have to get up to go to the toilet. Make a change by getting up every hour for a drink and fight both prolonged sitting and dehydration!

2. Instead of emailing your colleagues, walk over to talk to them.
This allows you to increase actual face­to­face time with your colleagues, which is very important for relationship building in the office. Walking around the office also gives your muscles a much needed stretch as you take a quick jaunt around.

3. If you must make a call, stand while talking.
We all know the pains of having a long and dragged out client call, or even a full­blown conference meeting over the phone. If you know you’re in for a long one, we suggest taking your shoes off, standing up and looking out a nearby
window ­ to rest your tired eyes too!­ while on the phone.

4. Have standing or walking meetings.
Bonus points if your office is huge or if it’s located on the ground floor. For short meetings and update sessions, suggest a walking meeting (with the end destination being your boss’s desk or the pantry).

5. Take the stairs where possible​, especially when going for or coming back from lunch.
Our mornings are often filled with the hustle of replying emails, taking calls and having meetings, meaning that come lunch time, most of us would have been sitting for 3 or 4 hours straight. Since you’re going to be sitting while eating lunch as well, take this time to walk down the stairs on your way to lunch. If you work on a really high floor, then just a couple of flights would do! Try to climb the stairs wherever you go too, such as in MRT stations and malls.

6. Set an alarm or reminder to take breaks.
Hey you’ve worked so hard all day, it’s time you take a break now. Break up periods of prolonged sitting by setting an hourly reminder on your phone or desktop to get up and move!

7. Do deskercises (i.e desk exercises).
So what comes after the reminder? We recommend doing 2 ­to 5 minutes of light intensity physical activity (LIPA) such as deskercises every hour. Deskercises, like the name suggests, are simple and quick exercises that can be done at your desk or using your office chair, and help to relieve tensed up muscles so you can resume work feeling refreshed and more awake. (Note: the above image DOES NOT count as a deskercise)

Visit www.getyourbottomsup.com to see the 7 office­ appropriate deskercises now!



About ​Get Your Bottoms Up!​ campaign

Get Your Bottoms Up! is a health campaign by final year students from Nanyang Technological University, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Get Your Bottoms Up! is the first local campaign that addresses the widespread prolonged sitting behaviour among office workers in Singapore. Through the promotion of deskercises (i.e. desk exercises), the campaign hopes to empower office workers with the skills and knowledge to take an active break from prolonged sitting while at work.

For more info, please visit www.facebook.com/getyourbottomsup or www.getyourbottomsup.com