Sedentary jobs involve sitting at a desk and only very minor physical activity. Although translators and project managers are the equivalent of intellectual body builders, we don’t get to move about much at work, and our lifestyles may be putting us at risk of developing health issues like premature mortality, diabetes, depression, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
“Go to the gym”, my friends would say. “Take a day off!”
“I know but I’m busy and there aren’t enough hours in the day. I have a massive workload”, I would reply.
We try to fool ourselves and our loved ones, but as time goes by and the aches, pains and insomnia take over, something has to give.
In the years since I have been writing this blog I have put on about 40 kilos. That is not a typo! I really have put on 40 kilos. That is almost the weight of another person, a small person but, nevertheless, a person. A few years ago I was wearing short shorts, sprinting across airports and hiking up mountainsides, but now I stagger about wearing trousers with an elasticated waist and a knee brace and feel embarrassed when I stand up from a chair because I creak like an 80-year-old.
However, I’m not despairing because the change has come. The trigger? A short holiday at the beginning of February when I walked 40 kilometres in four days (not without a degree of pain) and decided that enough was enough. I bought some fancy scales, purchased the Noom programme for my mobile and started weighing myself and tracking my steps and exercise. Three weeks of healthy eating and yoga, and I’ve already lost three kilos and I can get up from a sitting position without wobbling. It’s only 9.30 am I’ve already walked my dogs on the beach despite there being the same 24 hours in the day. I already feel so much better.
Everybody knows the benefits of active hobbies and exercise, but serious studies have shown that even exercise outside work time may not make up for remaining in one position for long periods of time. It’s up to us to be physically healthy and active at work. Even simple things like leaving certain things in a different part of the office to force you to stand up, setting yourself an alarm and moving about for a minute every hour can make a difference. And sleep. You won’t be able to work, rest or play unless you get enough sleep.
Walk more, breath. My muscles are already thanking me, and so are my dogs! When I feel fatigued in the evening, instead of watching some mindless rubbish and eating ice cream I’ve found some gentle yoga routines on YouTube and I’m doing those instead.
Won’t you join me, fight the stress and lead a more active and healthier life?