Is Your Desk Job Harming Your Health?

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 29, 2010

Good evening!


The Farmer’s Market bread returns for its’ last hoorah! It was a bit stale today, so I made sure to warm it in the micro for 15 seconds and put extra Earth balance on it! Perfecto.


As for the whole wheat loaf I purchased, I tried freezing it. I have doubts it will taste fresh when I take it out though…I guess my eyes were bigger than my belly at the market on Saturday!!!! Another reason why grocery shopping when hungry is trouble.  :tongue:

For dinner tonight, I made garlic scape infused quinoa


First I boiled the water with a vegetable bouillon cube until it had fully dissolved (this is crucial for not having bland quinoa!). Then I added the quinoa and a few processed garlic scapes, along with sea salt, 1 tbsp cold-pressed sunflower oil, and black pepper. I cooked the quinoa in this heavenly mixture for about 15 minutes or so.


The kitchen smelled glorious! It was so tasty and fresh. Simple food is good food.

Because dinner was lacking some colour, I decided a juice would be made for an energizing dessert


It was 1 beet, 2 carrots, 1/2 lemon, 1 tiny CSA apple. 

Last night, I had a hankering for my GF + Vegan chewy crackers, however this time I wanted to turn them into Glo Dough and also try my hand at dehydrating them in the food dehydrator.


I took the original recipe that I created a while back and I changed it around. I was out of brown rice so I used all quinoa. Second, I added a ton of garlic scapes which gave it great pop of flavour. I also added a few other seasonings and seeds and I dehydrated them for about 3 hours.


Despite not having brown rice, they were deelish. However, because I used only quinoa they didn’t hold together very well and were extremely crumbly! It was missing the brown rice. When brown rice is cooked and processed it acts like a paste, holding everything together. Next time = brown rice!


The balls held together much better than the flatbreads and crackers did…


They are sooo addicting though. They were awesome slathered in hummus…I made a huge plate for lunch that I promptly inhaled and could not peel myself away to get the camera. Blogger fail, I know.

I suspect the crackers will be great sprinkled over salads too. I am going to work on the recipe a bit before I post it because I want to iron out the kinks first!


Check out day 4 of the amazing sprouting Green Onion! Note the smaller lil guys popping up! I added those yesterday. What shall we name it?


As for the trans-planted basil, it does not seem to be growing.  I have even been talking to it when I eat my breakfast al fresco!

Is Your Desk Job Harming Your Health?

This morning, I read an interesting article on about desk jobs and the toll they can take on our health. I find this topic particularly interesting because I suffered from a lot of health problems when I was sitting for 12-14 hours a day while a grad student and researcher. I would often have a ton of back, neck, and shoulder pain, headaches, lethargy, not to mention feeling stir-crazy all day long! reports that sitting for extended periods of time can cause ‘back pain, repetitive stress injuries, obesity and even an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.’ Also, it can flatten out the curve of the lower back and put strain on the upper body, shoulders, and arms. 

However, there are simple things that one can do to help reduce the negative impact that sitting for extended periods of time can have. suggests…

1) Get moving! For 5 minutes every hour, get up and move around.

2) You need more than your daily gym workout. Just because you workout once a day does not mean you are ‘covered’ in terms of exercise if you are still sitting for 8-12 hours a day. Take several breaks throughout the day for 10-15 minutes to stretch and walk.

3) Practice good posture while sitting at your desk. An exercise ball or taking Pilates classes might help with this.

4) Have your desk assessed for proper ergonomic balance. Many workplaces now offer a physical therapist to come look at your workstation.

OSGMOM has always told me that I was a super active baby, toddler, and child always on the go. I could never sit still for long periods of time and was always moving around much to her chagrin.  I have always had a love for physical work, especially working with my hands and I get this from my mom who is very artistic and loves to draw and paint. It is no wonder that a desk job + 3-4 hours of driving each day did not jive well with my personality!

When I left my research job and commute and started up the bakery, I went from sitting for 12-14 hours a day to standing for at least 10 hours a day. It was a huge shift for me and I suffered from other health issues such as bad foot pain (especially heel pain), sore shoulders, arms, thumbs, and elbows from doing repeated physical labour with my hands. I started wearing comfortable sneakers and using my cushion mat from Costco (it’s great by the way) and this has helped quite a bit, although it can still be hard to find a balance. Now I find that I look forward to sitting breaks to give my feet a rest, but if I am on the computer doing desk work for longer than 4 hours I really start to feel it in my back. I think with any job, it can be difficult to find that perfect balance for one’s body!

Thinking back to my previous desk job, it would have been extremely hard for me to take mini walking breaks as this article suggests. I barely had enough time to go to the washroom at my old job and I was glued to my desk for hours on end. I think that it can be really hard for some employees to ‘claim’ that break time for their health, especially when their supervisor doesn’t take breaks either and doesn’t seem to encourage them.

At my old job we were supposed to get 1/2 hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks, but I was lucky to have 10 minutes to inhale my lunch. Obviously, I was part of the problem by not ‘claiming’ my break in a more assertive manner, but sometimes it puts the employee in a precarious position because no one wants to look like a ‘slacker’ even if they are nothing of the sort.

Workplaces have made significant improvements over the past several years, but they have a long way to go before the majority of ‘desk-jockies’ are feeling at their optimum health.

I have lots of food for thought for you tonight…

  • Do you have a desk job or a standing/physical type job? Do you like it?
  • Do you feel like your workplace would support mini walking breaks during the day?
  • Do you implement any of the above suggestions into your day? 
  • Do you think that you get enough breaks at your current job and does your supervisor support breaks? How long and how frequent at your breaks? Do you take them?

On that note I am going to get up from this desk, stretch, and do some yoga. Have a great night!

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{ 103 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa June 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

One of the things I love about quinoa is that it takes the flavor of whatever you serve it with! That’s the best!

I have a desk job and sit A LOT. Sometimes I have back, neck pain and get stiff and sore from sitting. The good thing is that I have to get up and walk a lot to the printers, etc. I also run at lunch time. That helps!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is June 29, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I switched to a desk job from being a full-time personal trainer and it is pure hell. I feel the effects everyday – my posture, etc. I can’t imagine those that have a desk job and DON’T exercise. I move around all day long and take walks when I can just to keep moving!


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 29, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I have the opposite of a desk job. I am lucky if I get to sit down at all during my 12.5 hour shift. That is not an overstatement. As an ICU nurse, I feel like I truly get a workout, sometimes too much physical activity, actually, ha!
We get a half hour for lunch, and we do take period “breaks,” but it isn’t like I have someone actually watching my patient, so I might go to the front desk and watch the monitors or in the little kitchen area for about 5 minutes to inhale a cracker…that is kind of the extent to my breaks. It’s all good. I really like my job.


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm



Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm

As a funny side note, the last two days I had 8 hour lectures, and now my back is killing me. I could never have a desk job!!


Jenny June 29, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I don’t have a job, but I’m a student… i pretty much sit still from 9 a.m. til 3 p.m. every day, and then there’s blogging and homework! It’s so important to make sure to move!


Amber June 29, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I stand for most my shift at work and get a great workout from it. The only downfall being that my feet are killing me at the end of the day. Nicole- definitely understand the stressful job and getting a workout at work. I work in a cath lab at a trauma hospital and we rarely get a chance to leave our patients. But, I still would rather be on my feet and moving all day then sitting at a desk for sure!


Callie June 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Just like you, I’m not a desk job person. My mom said she always had trouble getting me to sit still.
Those crackers look good. Crumbly, but still good.


Kristina June 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I was previously an accountant, sitting in a locked office (with one of those bankers split doors!) the top was open, but the bottom was locked closed. I had a walk in safe with A LOT of money in it… while I LOVED the mental challenge of that job, I do not miss being at a desk all day AND not being creative / interacting with people.

I didn’t really have physical effects… I was working out 2+ hours after work, PLUS teaching a weight lifting class for special olympics athletes. I also sat on a yoga ball in my office!! :)


Laura (Starloz) June 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm

great post angela, so very true


Maria June 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Hi! I currently (and for the past 3 years have been working a desk job as a designer and developer for the web and multimedia. Being a very active person, I find myself feeling stir crazy by mid morning after sitting at my desk and enduring an hour long commute to the office. I drink a ton of water throughout the day so I end up getting up every 20-30 minutes just to use the restroom! I am also somewhat scatter-brained and if I get up to do one thing I typically get side tracked and end up doing something else, getting back to my desk and realizing I have to get back up. So, yes, I get to move around quite a bit at work other than when I am completely swamped. Luckily, we are an ‘active’ company in that many of our brands are sports brands the company supports employee breaks to go workout. A typical lunch break lasts an hour and I take advantage of that every day, I will go to the gym to strength train or do cardio. When I was in training for my first marathon I would run in the morning and mid-day take a long walk or something just to get me out of the office and to clear my head. I recently was fortunate enough to have one of the brands we work with sponsor me for my first triathlon and I start training this week! I can’t wait! I’m really lucky to be able to get a good day’s worth of exercise completed in the middle of my work day, otherwise I think I would be pretty miserable.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:00 am

Wow that is amazing! Thanks for sharing :) WIsh more companies were like this. Hopefully it catches on.


Ed June 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I’m a software engineer, so I’m at a desk for most of the day. Just like you, I drink lots of water throughout the day so I’m always going to the restroom! My coworkers and I usually eat outside, which is a nice break as well.


Lily June 29, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I frequently freeze the bread that I make–if you go directly from freezer to toaster or toaster oven, you should be in great shape!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:00 am

Toasting is a great idea!


Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life June 29, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I don’t technically have a desk job (I’m a teacher, so I’m moving a lot) but I do spend a lot of time on the computer at home, (i.e., blogging!) I have been trying extra hard to pay more careful attention to my posture, because I start to feel it immediately in my upper back. I definitely make sure I take breaks and move around throughout the day though – it makes such a difference!


Erin June 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

I work a desk job all day and make a point to move as much as possible. Instead of sending an email to someone, I’ll walk down the hallway and talk to the person face to face. I am constantly shaking my foot or fidgeting and moving in some way. Plus, I have really good posture, so it helps keep strain off my back. Even so, I always work out after work to get some more movement into my day. Sitting for long periods of time just isn’t my special talent. :)


AGS June 30, 2010 at 5:30 am

A couple years ago, I would walk around to talk with people as much as possible. I even had a reputation for walking around the office. I found for a lot of communication in-person was a faster decision-method, anyway. I wish I could do this more in my current workplace — we have a distributed company (throughout the U.S.), and so email/phone is pretty much the only option. I consider walking over to talk with someone one of the healthiest activities in the office — both for your body, and for over-all office communication!


Heather June 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

oh girl, my desk job is totally killing my health! for so long i worked in places where i was on my feet all day long, and for 2 years now i’ve been sitting at a desk 8 hours a day. luckily i work in a company that encourages us to move around, workout, etc, but it’s still super boring and really hard on our backs and necks!


Angela @ a healthy fit June 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

I wish I could take more breaks at work. When I’m super busy I can hardly find the time to eat lunch. I like my job better when I am onsite and running around for 10-13 hours.


Charlotte June 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I currently have a desk job. I have always had jobs where I stand all day so it is so hard for me to get accustomed to siting for hours on end. I ended up with a foot injury that made it so I could no longer work. So now I am at a desk and do not have time to take several breaks. Now that I am healed I do go for at least a mile walk everyday at lunch, to at least get out. You get tired when you stand all the time, but I feel like you get used to it more than sitting, at least I do! I can not wait to get to stand for a living again, haha.


Lauren M. June 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I work at Trader Joe’s so I am ALWAYS moving, lifting, squating, reaching. Sometimes I feel like I stand for a little too long, but they do a great job at breaking our day up into one or two hour chunks, meaning that I’m never doing the same job (cashier, stocking, food samples…etc.) for more than two hours. Some days I feel like I have done the equivalent of a hard weight lifting session when I get home. It makes for a fun day.

On a side note….I went to the farmer’s market this weekend specifically for garlic scapes and the man said they are out of season! So sad! He said that they are only in season for 2-3 weeks a year. I’m quite disappointed. Oh well. I guess garlic scape pesto will have to wait.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

You work at TJ’s…swoon. lol.

Yea I have heard the season is short…wonder why? To be honest I am a bit scaped out at the moment! haha. I still have a ton to use up!


Mellissa June 29, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I sit all day :( It is really hard to get used to and I try to get up every hour and at least move around. Moving around seems to help but by the end of the day my neck gets kind of achy.


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter June 29, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I’m an architecture student, so when I’m at my studio I alternate between sitting and standing. Plus I walk away to fill my water bottle or visit with other people to take a break. Now that I have my internship I sit quite a bit which I’m not a fan of.


Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker June 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I have a desk job. And I HATE it. I wish I could get another kind of job where I could move around more. But I try desperately to get breaks during the day. I don’t really have time, but lately I’ve been making time to walk with a coworker for the half hour lunch. I eat while I work to get in my actual lunch. But basically, I think desk jobs are awful. I agree with one of the readers above that it’s a good idea to have a water bottle and fill it up to take breaks and get away from your desk. I think one of the worst parts of the whole thing is how it is bad for my eyes. I get headaches and my eyes are always dry. I find it difficult to focus, etc.

Anyway. I want to stop thinking about work because I have to get back to it tomorrow AM. Overall, my LEAST favorite part of having a desk job isn’t even the whole desk thing. It’s the being at work from 9 to 5 thing. My husband is a teacher, and he’s now off all summer. I don’t think the typical desk job allows for much rest and relaxation time. It’s too much stress . . . with not enough time off. That, for me, is the absolute worst part. I just wish I could find a way out!!!


erica June 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm

i have a desk job (i’m actually here right now…shhhh!) and i noticed that i started getting bad back and neck aches. i even just went for a massage the other day (ahh, the perks of bridesmaid duties ;p ) and as soon as the therapist just touched my back she went “oh! wow, your back is really tight!”

i try to walk around but i don’t think it does much. :/


Lisa (BBB) June 29, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I work in an office and try to get up and get moving when I can – but as you said – sometimes you just cant.


Mary Ann June 29, 2010 at 7:09 pm

My job is a volunteer coordinator at a non-profit nursing home and , although technically ‘desk jobish’, I get to move alot during the day. I do have a suggestion for your next Farmers Market bread. We often slice our bread and then freeze it. We remove as many slices as we need. And if the bread gets dry, what could be better than french toast with coconut butter and cocoa nibs on top?


Faith @ LovelyAsCharged June 29, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Oooh, savory Glo Dough! That’s such a fun idea!

I’m lucky enough to have a job chasing after kids so I’m hardly ever sitting still. My whole day is one big walking break! The bummy thing is that I rarely get a lunch break to myself; we automatically get an hour break docked out by payroll (I’m full-time but not salaried), but soo many days I’m on an all-day field trip and am forced to stay with the students. That’s the one downside I guess :/


Sarah June 29, 2010 at 7:38 pm

My job is the worst. Aside from the constant exposure to secondhand smoke, I am chained to my computer all day. It’s a small company, so we don’t get offered any ergonomic alternatives or exercise breaks. Luckily I have about 4 weeks left there, so it’s not for much longer! This post came at a great time, it will remind me to “claim my breaks” at my new job!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:05 am

You have second hand smoke at work?! That is awful :(


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty June 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm

A stale bread idea for you!

Wet a brown paper bag, put bread inside and then put in the oven for a few mins, you will have delish soft bread again!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:05 am

wow great tip!


Erin June 29, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Back support is crucial! My back has been killing me since I started a desk job again so I need to take my own advice and practice better posture.


[email protected]:// June 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I have a physical job were I move around constantly. It’s hard work but it keeps me active all day long and I’m thankful I don’t sit at a desk.


Sonia @ Master of Her Romaine June 29, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I have a desk job but I often get up and walk around as you suggested! Also, I divide my time between floors- the 4th floor and the basement- so I am always sure to use the stairs when traveling between offices!
I think that my desk job makes me healthier because I get so bored sitting there for so long that I read health blogs all day! bahahah ;)


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

“I think that my desk job makes me healthier because I get so bored sitting there for so long that I read health blogs all day! bahahah ;)”

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Thsi is quotable


Kathryn July 1, 2010 at 12:04 am

OMG this is SOOOOOOOOO true. After a long time sitting at my desk my mind goes to work mush and I take a brain break and feed my soul with some blogs. I’ve been reading yours (catching up from the beginning, just got to 2009) and I’ve alredy made huge changes in my healthy activities!!!

My upper back KILLS by the end of the week and I walk at break and lunch usually. Bodies want to move. I guess it is all about finding balance between activity and rest.


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 1, 2010 at 8:01 am

Aww thank you I’m glad you enjoy it! :) Good for you for making all those healthy changes!!!


Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Holy cow! That onion grew that much in a day?! But the Glo Dough crackers take the cake here..they look fun to eat!


Bridget June 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

What a cute little onion you got there :) He just gets bigger everyday!

I work in retail/food and beverage so I don’t sit at a desk. I’m sure in a few years when I get out of University and find a career, I’ll probably wind up at a desk :( Hopefully I’ll find a job that doesn’t require me to be trapped in a tiny cubicle. I get very antsy when I sit for a long time, even when sitting in lectures.


Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf June 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I have a desk job. I’d rather be on my feet and moving around doing a bunch of random things than being chained to a desk, but it’s my only option right now.

My office has a 15 min break each in the morning and afternoon. I typically take them. And our supervisor is fine with it, but she wants us to take them at very specific times in the day, and sometimes that’s not possible to go at the very same time every day.

I walk around when I can. I walk around the campus during my break, and I walk up three flights of stairs to the bathroom on the very top floor when I need to go.


Jolene ( June 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I rarely sit at work … I teach grade 7/8 and they always have me on my toes :-)


Kelsey June 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I’m a GIS technician, so I have a physical-type job with little desk time that requires me to be constantly moving and carrying heavy equipment to each location I’m surveying. For that reason, my co-workers and I make a point of putting everything down every 2 hours for at least 15 minutes to stretch, relax, or grab a snack. I find these little breaks are enough to keep me from being sore, and keep me sane!


Tyffanie June 29, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I do have a desk job and I definitely find it to be a challenge to sit the majority of the day. While I like the people I work with and the company I work for, I am not a fan of a sit-down job. Luckily my workplace definitely supports getting up and moving around. They have implemented something called “Pause for Gym” where a trainer comes to the office twice a week and leads us through a 10-15 min exercise routine to get us moving. As part of the program, they also have 10 min massages once a week that we can sign up for. It is pretty awesome! Even with this progressive-ness, I am going to try and take these mini walking breaks, even if it is just walking around the office a couple times a day, as well as stretching at my desk. I find my hips get really tight being seated all day so sometimes I do lunges at my desk. Luckily my job isn’t stringent on the number or length of breaks that are taken. If you are getting your work done, they are pretty flexible!


Janet June 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I teach first grade so depending on the day I would guess I never sit more than 20 minutes (small group reading instruction) without moving. I also don’t sit much at home. My DH times me during tv shows/movies as I don’t sit through a whole show unless I am sleeping! I don’t think a desk job would work for me.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:07 am

hahah I never sit through a movie…I’m always getting up. Eric always laughs at me.


Noelle June 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I have a desk job, which definitely makes me feel a bit stir crazy at times. But now I just make up random errands that I simply must run (i.e. walking 3/4 mile each way to whole foods to buy a grapefruit for a snack :-) ). Everyone in my office loves it because I can pick up groceries for them too. It so important to move. Screw overbearing bosses!


Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana June 29, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Excellent blog subject. I work 9-11 hours every day and unfortunately too much of my job is sitting. I try to move around as much as possible, like talk face-to-face instead of email or go for mini walks, but I still fear THE OFFICE @SS. Yikes! ;) I would love if my work encouraged more mini walk breaks during the day, but I need to also take the ownership myself!


Jill June 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I have a desk job and it definitely takes a toll on my body. Where I work the corporate culture is all about working people to the brink of meltdown… and I have a very demanding boss who doesn’t take many breaks. She works through lunch unless she’s going out for a business lunch, although once in a rare while she’ll go for a short walk. 15 minute breaks don’t exist to her. It is actually the law here that if you work over 5 hours in a stretch, that you are entitled to 30 minutes lunch and two 15s. I’m in the same boat as you were, in that I don’t assert that right. I almost always take my half hour for lunch, although I stay sitting at my desk. I just stop working and read the news instead. I never take my 15s though… Although I work out about 1.5hours 5-6 days a week, I know I need to move more during the workday. I get really bloated after meals and my feet and ankles swell.
Thanks for the motivation to try harder to get up out of my chair more! I also wish the company would be cool with me replacing my chair with a stability ball.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

Your situation sounds exactly like mine was! I hope you can find some relief…it is not fun by any means.


Amber K June 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I work part time in child care, so most of the time I am jumping up chasing after kids, or standing during the teaching portions. I sit during movie time and sometimes while playing with the kids.

When I’m at home I sit at the computer or sometimes kick back with a good book. So I am active sometimes, and completely inactive at others. Hopefully it is the best of both worlds!


Camille June 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I am a Nutrition major, so my major has a lot of applications. I definitely want to do something where I can stay on my feet though!


Joan June 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I work at a desk job and it definitely takes a toll on my body. I try to get up and walk to the bathroom or water fountain every hour. I drink tons of water throughout the day and that’s not only good for my body but also forces me to get up and move!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

and dont forget all those bathroom breaks! haha


Jennifer June 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Not only do I have a desk job, but I have to ask permission to leave my desk. Even to use the restroom! I daydream all the time of being able to do something else.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:10 am

Seriously? That is horrible!


Maria @ A La Mode June 29, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I feel that I am INCREDIBLY lucky with my office job. Not only does my workplace bring in ergonomic specialists and buy us wonderful chairs, but they schedule workouts thorough the day with a personal trainer, give us foam rollers to stretch and ab balls to sit on. Its amazing and despite not absolutely loving what I do, it keeps me from burning out.


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I must try out those crackers/balls! I can never find crackers that are seedy enough for my liking at the grocery store.

Even though I’m sitting in lecture halls for a large chunk of my days, I’m constantly walking between classes. And if I feel like I’ve been sitting too long for one day, I’ll just take an extra stroll around campus.


Michal June 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Most of the year, my schedule tends to be: an hour at desk, two hours on my feet, two hours at my desk. I’m not very good at the sitting-at-my-desk part – I probably get up or move around every ten-twenty minutes. I’ve often joked to my coworkers that we should implement ten minutes of office yoga.


Natalie @ cinnamonbums June 29, 2010 at 10:47 pm

i love how garlic scape is appearing in so many meals! its like a lovely little visitor, and now i want to get my hands on some!

i’m a student still, so i would say half of my day is a lot of sitting and the other half is running around trying to get to places on time. my mom has always really been worried about my posture while using the computer so she actually got me a computer stand to prop up my computer… desk ergonomics are really helpful! now i look up instead of down at the computer screen, and that really helps keep my back/neck straight


April Nguyen June 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I work at an Urgent Care Center at my air force base…12.5 hr shifts. My desk time usually just depends on how busy we are. We don’t get a lunch break, so I can either eat at my desk for about 5-10 mins or standing up in our break room. It is a good thing that I do stand/walk when we’re busy, but when I get home I’m too exhausted for a REAL work out! But I suppose it’s better than a desk job… :/ And it is a panama shift, so no complaints there!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

Wow that sounds intense…but interesting!


Gypsy June 29, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I like Erin’s idea of walking over to talk to someone face to face rather than sending an email. Sometimes I email because I think I’m saving time, but I should take the 5 extra minutes to get up and walk for my health instead.
I have a very stressful (at times) desk job and have suffered for several years with major neck and shoulder issues.
It suck too because my boss hates ergonomic stuff and would rather have mid-century furniture that looks cool.
Maybe it would be a good idea to make a schedule and have a different desk stretch every hour – it would probably help to have a little daily routine like that. Any desk stretch suggestions?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:13 am
Gypsy June 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

Thanks Angela :) I’ll check it out


Leah June 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I work a desk job, and in the first year I gained at least 10 pounds. It took awhile for me to realize thats what was causing my weight gain. Now I make a point to get up and find people instead of just paging them over the intercom. Plus, I drink a lot more water and the bathroom is upstairs, so everytime I have to pee I get a little bit of exercise. It makes a difference!


Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' June 30, 2010 at 1:17 am

I have a desk job, and I do sit a lot when I’m in the office. When I’m not slammed with work, I do feel comfortable enough to take a brief walk down the hall and walk up and down the stairs a few times in the building– but I definitely don’t do it as often as I should!

I’m really lucky in the fact that I often get to work from home, rather in the office, so I’m not stuck at a desk quite as much then. I usually will bounce on my rebounder from time to time, or do some random housework on a break. I definitely am the type that likes to move around during the day, too! I go stir crazy sitting in the office all day long!


Anne June 30, 2010 at 3:17 am

A comment on the bread: It looked pretty European – or being German, it looked German – to me and we freeze whole wheat too. I cut it in slices and put 4-6 slices in a freezer bag, take them out an hour before we need it and maybe toast it a little depending on the bread and it tastes totally fresh. I don’t know how “German” yours is, but maybe that helped.
Concerning the desk – I write the abc several times with each of my feet while sitting and found that helped me stretch and prevent running injuries as well. Besides I walk around my office when I am on the phone. :-)


Wei-Wei June 30, 2010 at 3:28 am

I always have that problem with bread; our family doesn’t really like bread (we’re asian, we eat rice) so a lot of it ends up in the freezer. That bread looks reeeeeally good, though :D And so does your quinoa!

I’m a student, and even when I’m not doing homework I find myself just slouched at the computer almost all of the day. I’m really trying hard to change this sedentary habit of mine, because I want to be active beyond just a 30 minute workout everyday… I mean, what percentage is that of the day? Ugh. Being sedentary is NOT good for my health :(



Amanda @ Amanda On Foot June 30, 2010 at 4:27 am

Even though I’m still in college and I don’t have a job, I still think about this sort of dilemma for my future job, whatever it may be. I’m the type of person who can’t sit still all day. I need to get up and move around, so when the time comes for me to go job hunting, I will keep all of these things in mind. My career will come secondary to my health.



AGS June 30, 2010 at 5:27 am

I have a desk job, and would say that over all I don’t find it to be a problem, because of a few things. The first is I have a decent chair, the second is a have a huge monitor with a good docking station (monitor is at appropriate eye-level), and the third is good posture — I even have had a few people comment that I’m always sitting straight up (I had to work at this to make it a habit a few years ago). I definitely get up every hour or so, though I’m not sure it’s for more than 5 minutes to walk over to talk with someone. I also move my papers around on my desk so that my head isn’t turned in exactly the same position all day if I’m working on a writing project.


alexe @ soyaetchocolat June 30, 2010 at 6:05 am

I currently work as a gym receptionist so I’m on my feet all day. At the beginning, my lower back hached like crazy but I’m use to it now. I make sure to switch my weight from one feet to the other every few minutes. Fortunately, my boss is very understanding and, as long as I don’t keep the costumers waiting at the front desk, I can take as many breaks as I want. It means that I can’t have more than a few minutes of break at a time though. I’m always stressed that I won’t hear the door opening. I bring a lot of small snacks so I don’t have to sit for a long time to eat them. It works for me!


Cara June 30, 2010 at 6:16 am

Good advice!
A lot of may day is spent in front of a computer, planning lessons for my classes.
I notice the affects and I hate it. My eyes get so tired…
I know that I should be up and moving around, but sometimes I don’t make it a priority.
And do you ever notice that the more you sit in a day the more tired you are when you get home? …which means less motivation to exercise…I hate it!
Must keep thinking positively and making healthy decisions


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:14 am

YES! “And do you ever notice that the more you sit in a day the more tired you are when you get home? …which means less motivation to exercise…I hate it!”


Little Aspects June 30, 2010 at 7:02 am

I spent 3 years working at a desk job and couldn’t stand it – I need to be always moving as well. I was lucky in that at my workplace we were encouraged to be active at lunch, so I could go for an 8km run every lunchtime around Sydney Harbour, which was wonderful and made it just bearable. Then I left that to go back and do more full-time study at uni and spent hours and hours hunched over my laptop and would get a lot of pain in my neck and back. Now, I’m a high school teacher and I’m on my feet all day long, rarely sitting down for more than 10mins at a time to quickly eat lunch before heading off to playground duty or whatever. I wouldn’t change it for the world though :-)


Carolyn @ lovinlosing June 30, 2010 at 7:14 am

Every time I’ve frozen bread, once it thaws it tastes prefectly fresh.


Kelly June 30, 2010 at 7:25 am

I have a desk job, but I only live 3 blocks away, so I am able to walk to work, walk home for lunch, go back and then walk home again at the end of the day. So, not so bad. Sometimes I get antsy and get up and walk around the office a bit :)


Emily June 30, 2010 at 7:32 am

Question – Have you been changing the water daily that the green onion is in?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:15 am

Noooooooooope. But Eric reminded me this AM and I changed it. It was looking murky!


Teri [a foodie stays fit] June 30, 2010 at 7:41 am

haha – I linked to this same article on my blog last week. It made me really think since I have a desk job. I do exercise daily but apparently it’s still not enough! I get up every hour to go to the bathroom but I’ve been trying to take a 10-15 minute walk at lunch and a walk in the afternoon too. I’m also thinking about getting a stability ball to sit on at my desk.


Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans June 30, 2010 at 8:03 am

My workplace is very health aware in my opinion. We have a gym with a free membership in the building, fitness classes at lunch and nutrition seminars from time to time. The Assistant VP of my department is very active and she definitely supports me in my endeavors. Getting to work out at lunch plus taking a break whenever necessary really helps since I do site the rest of the day.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:15 am

that is so great!


Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies June 30, 2010 at 8:10 am

I recently started a desk job, but I’ve found that I’m sitting a lot less than I thought I would be. Plus, I walk to and from work, and I often walk around during my lunch break.


Chelsey June 30, 2010 at 8:16 am

Looooove quinoa – I think it will be making an appearance in my life today.

I’m an elementary school teacher, so I am always on the go! I honestly am lucky if I sit down for 5 minutes while the kids are working. Usually not though, because someone always has a question. I am always so drained at the end of the day, but love going for my runs right after school to clear my head so I can get work done when I get back (I run straight from school with some girlies). The only days I got to “sit” are the days when the kiddos take standardized testing – then I am bored out of my mind!!! :)


greenbean June 30, 2010 at 8:42 am

any suggestions or suggested resources about in office workouts or movements? its soooo hot outside right now that i no longer can take an afternoon walk and we don’t have stairs in this building. thanks for the tips!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 30, 2010 at 9:16 am
Rachel @ Balance and Blueberries June 30, 2010 at 9:14 am

I have a desk job, but it’s within a GREAT office environment. I get a full hour for lunch, and as much freedom as I need throughout the day to take break and stand up, stretch, and get the blood flowing. All things considered, it’s a very health-friendly environment (minus the endless supply of chocolate that lies around!)


Stephanie June 30, 2010 at 9:23 am

I do have a desk job and my work would not be very happy if I asked for this many breaks! I try to get up and pee every one and a half to two hours and spend my time getting back and forth to help a bit but most of the time it’s only like 5 minutes. I do sit up straight as much as possible and I fought for a new chair since the old one was terrible on my back. This is not a very health-friendly environment to work in. Is it crazy that I’m looking for a new job for this reason?


schmei June 30, 2010 at 9:36 am

I used to spend my summers as a camp counselor. Talk about an active job! I miss that.

Now I have a desk job, and the day varies: some days I’m walking all over campus (I work at a university), but more often I’m in my office all. day. long. I’ve actually had days where I sat so long, staring at my computer, that I started to feel nauseous. Not good.

The double-edged sword of my job is that it’s fairly self-directed: my boss is very hands-off as long as the work gets done. On days when I’m being conscious of myself I am good about taking breaks and walking outside for just a few minutes. When I’m _really_ good I give myself the actual hour I theoretically have for lunch. BUT those days are limited. Often I’m bugging myself to get something done, or I just have so much on my to-do list that even a 10-minute break seems like a “waste of time”. I’m still learning how to remind myself that I’m more productive on the days when I take care of myself.

Now that I’m running, I do find that I’m much better at moving around and hydrating throughout the day because I don’t want to feel bad on my evening run! That’s a virtuous cycle I wasn’t expecting.


Michelle June 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

I work at a Youth Center and my days are very varied, going from 7 hours sitting at my desk doing work to no time in my office and bringing kids on trips, running around with them, etc. I need to do a better job on the mostly-desk-days of getting up and moving!


Susan June 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

My 30-year-old sister has either been working a desk job or in university since she was 18. She is currently undergoing network spinal analysis to relieve the beginnings of a hump she’s grown at the bottom of her neck. When she began, her head was 13% forward, as opposed to directly over the spine like our bodies are designed to be. It’s frightening. Even in yoga class the other day, NONE of us could to this one posture involving our right arm because we are so stiff there from using computer mouses. Now I sit with a computer on my lap all day… who knows what damage I’m even doing to my quads!


Beth @ DiningAndDishing June 30, 2010 at 10:15 am

I have a desk job. Although I do make sure to move around and also to stretch, I have had chronic shoulder pain since starting. I have tried everything – accupuncture, massage therapy, physical therapy, novicane injections, steriod injections, oral steriods etc and nothing has worked. It is very frustrating! I think that the bottom line is, until I do not have to hunch over a desk all day I will have this problem :(


Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous June 30, 2010 at 10:25 am

I am chained to my desk from 9-5 every day. I am responsible for the phones and they must be covered 100% of the time we are open. So, if I have to go get my mail (another one of my duties) I have to transfer the phones to someone while I am gone from my desk for 30 seconds. I hate it. And my co-worker gives me a hard time about “giving my job away” when she has to take the phones. So yeah, it stinks.

No, my workplace does not care about mini-walking breaks.

I try to take the stairs every day from the parking garage to the main floor. But once you are in the building, all the stairwells are locked from the inside. So, I HAVE to take the elevator every day. I learned this the hard way when I went to take a little movement break and got stuck in the stairwell on the 12th floor of my building. I had to go all the way down to the bottom and take the elevator back up. Ugh

I take no breaks except to use the bathroom. I don’t even leave for lunch. Its not pleasant. I try to workout most days, but you are right, sitting ALL Day and then working out for 1 hour isn’t going to do much. In college I used to walk everywhere. Walk to class, walk to work, AND excercise all the time. It was much easier to manage my weight.

I think I may just start transfering the phones every few hours and walk around for a bit. My co-worker will just have to deal!


Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales June 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

I always try and get away from my desk at regular intervals throughout the day and go for a walk at lunch if the weather is nice. If I sit for too long I find I can get a bad back and neck, which isn’t nice. It can be hard to get away for 5 minutes though and some employers do expect you to kind of stay put at your desk for a long time; my manager only gets up about twice a day to make a cup of coffee and that’s it!


Tracey June 30, 2010 at 10:59 am

I have always been an active person and growing up my mom said I could never sit still. Now I sit at my desk in front of my computer for 8-10 hours per day. I am the type of person that needs to be moving so I try to take breaks when I can and walk around or just stand up from my computer. Luckily I have a job that is pretty flexible so I am able to take breaks now and then and stretch and move around a bit. However, my posture is horrible when I sit at my desk :(


Triathlonbabe aka Grace June 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

Ahhhhh, love Quinoa and so does the hubby! Made a huge batch on Monday as a matter of fact and it’s all gone. It’s kind of nice alternative to brown rice as my hubby says. I have the last of it to have with my wrap today at work. Yummy!

Here is my take on all of these questions:
1. Do you have a desk job or a standing/physical type job? Do you like it? I have a desk job, testing software for banks all day, 9-12 hrs a day. At the moment I do not like my job, however, there’s room for other opinions on that but I’ll leave that out.
2. Do you feel like your workplace would support mini walking breaks during the day? My workplace supports anything health related. Our CEO is a huge advocate of good health. He is also a runner and has run the Boston Marathon 8 times.
3. Do you implement any of the above suggestions into your day? I get up at least once or twice each hour to either visit the ladies room and/or go wash my dishes from breakfast, snack, lunch or afternoon snack. So I constitute those as my mini walking breaks.
4. Do you think that you get enough breaks at your current job and does your supervisor support breaks? How long and how frequent at your breaks? Do you take them? I do not want to be in a job where I can not take a break. I used to work on the front side of banking and we never got breaks, well we did but we never had the opportunity to take advantage of them. I feel like if my boss doesn’t want to take a break, that’s on her not to be healthy, but I will take breaks and if anyone has a problem with it….well, I guess they don’t need me or want to pay high health bills for me to be injured or sick because of it.


Franziska ( June 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Thank you for bringing up this important issue. I work in research and am in front of a computer 90% of my time. Many times I find myself so busy the only times I get up are to use the restroom and fill up my water bottle. We need an environment that not only “allows” breaks but really encourges breaks and small bouts of physical activity during the day. Thank you for getting more dialogue going about this!


Adventures in Veg June 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I worked at a desk job for the last 3 years and it has played havoc with my posture, neck and back! Coincidentally I was at a chiropractor today and it was scary to see the results of the scan she did on my back. These days I work 3 days at home but have gotten into a bad habit of working (typing, I’m a journalist) on the couch. Really bad habit! I think reading this blog post today was another reminder to look after my back!


Kathryn July 1, 2010 at 12:06 am

Well…did ya name the onion? I vote for Billy.


alyne July 1, 2010 at 2:19 am

I used to work at a desk job for a translation company, each of us translated for a different language, and could work any hours we wanted, which resulted in some really long days! I am a pretty active person and can’t sit still for long! So I would wheedle my coworkers and bosses to have push up contests! Not official or anything, just if we felt like moving we would have one! Every few hours or so :) I’d also always go visit the upstairs workers to get my legs moving, go to the bathroom a lot, lift my legs and tighten my abs while at the desk, stretch my arms towards the ceiling and arch my back. We’d also do these competitions where you both lie on your back and hook legs to see who could flip the other person over backwards! It was great. I would have died a slow painful death without moving :)


Jen July 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm

What food dehydrator do you use? And, do you like it? I’m in the market for one.



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