Bad Work Habit #1: Sitting all day.
If you work a nine-to-five office job, chances are you spend a large portion of your day stationed at your desk.
That’s bad news for your health, especially if you sit on your commute and on the couch at night, too.
A recent study published in the journal PLOS Medicine shows that people who sleep too much (more than nine hours a night), sit too much (more than seven hours a day) and aren’t physically active enough (less than 150 minutes a week) are four times more likely to die early than people who skip these bad habits.
The good news: there’s room to improve. Some simple ways to kick your sitting habit are to make walking, taking the stairs and regular exercise a part of your daily life. You may have to sit at your desk for most of the workday, but washroom breaks, stretch breaks and a long walk break at lunch can make all the difference. You can also make your commute healthier with these easy ideas.
Even better: Get a standing desk and reduce your risk of ‘sitting disease.’
Bad Work Habit #2: Having terrible posture.
When it’s inevitable that you’ll be sitting, at least make sure you’re sitting up straight.
Good spinal posture is essential if you want to maintain independence later in life, according to a study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. Basically, the worse shape your spinal column is in, the higher your chances are of requiring assistance for basic tasks (think: feeding and bathing yourself) in old age.
Not only does bad posture negatively affect you later in life, it can also make you feel less energetic from day-to-day. When researchers asked 110 university students to either walk in a slouched position or skip in an upright position, those who slouched reported low energy levels, while the skippers felt more energetic throughout the day. That’s worth sitting (or standing) up straight for.
Bad Work Habit #3: Wearing high heels.
Do you wear high heels to work? It’s time to consider switching to flats. Not only do heels interfere with those walk breaks and that good posture we recommended, they can also do a number on your body.
In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that long-term high heel use (40 hours per week for two or more years) compromises muscle efficiency in walking. That’s because heels can actually shorten the fibres of your calf muscles. Eek! Wearing heels every day may also increase the risk of strain injuries.
None of that sounds appealing, but let’s not forget the other downside: heels can be downright uncomfortable. Leave the heels at home on regular workdays, and bring ’em out for special occasions only.