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.
Bad Work Habit #4: Eating lunch at your desk alone (friends on Facebook don’t count).
This one is a triple whammy. Not only are you sitting (we already talked about this, guys!) But you’re alone. We’ll get to the Facebook thing in a minute.
Feeling lonely has a huge impact on your health. A review of studies on loneliness shows that having more friends and good quality relationships boosts your mental health and improves your chances of living a long life. The opposite is also true. Loneliness negatively impacts mental and physical health and mortality rates.
So we’ve established that sitting at your desk, and spending lunchtime alone is not the healthiest option. But when you add Facebook into the mix, things go downhill even more.
In a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers found that when someone uses Facebook, they feel worse. The more they continue to use Facebook over time, the more their life satisfaction declines.
It’s lunchtime. What should you do? Get up, grab a friend, and log off social media.