Sitting at a desk all day can have an adverse effect on your blood pressure

Lifestyle, Stress

Is your work affecting your blood pressure?

Tips and advice to keep you moving throughout the working day to help improve your blood pressure, overall health and keep you in shape.

When the only exercise you get during the working day is a trip to the coffee machine, many of us rely on our gym memberships and outdoor activities to keep us active. However, evidence is growing that a sedentary lifestyle, no matter how physically active you are, is associated with cardiovascular disease which can lead to high blood pressure.

Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism which affects the body’s ability to break down body fat as well as regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. A recent study by the British Heart Foundation has shown that, by staying physically active throughout the day, the risk of heart and circulatory disease can be reduced by as much as 35%. What a great reason to get moving…!

Five tips to help you be more active at work

1. Get moving

Using the stairs over lifts will help to keep you active during the working day

Try to take regular desk breaks; rather than send an email to a colleague, visit their desk and talk to them directly. Also, use stairs over lifts where possible and if you can, ditch the car or public transport in favour of walking to and from work. If you live too far away, get off a stop early or park your car further away from the office.

2. Deskercise

Think about your workstation as a workout station to help keep you moving throughout the day

Research shows that 60 minutes of moderate physical activity will help to combat the health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, including high blood pressure. Clock up the minutes whilst sitting at your desk by doing stretches, sitting on a wellness ball or even secretly pedal away under your desk with a mini bike.

3. Stand up for yourself

Swap the boardroom for stand-up meetings to keep moving and burn more calories

Standing burns more calories than sitting and will help to improve your posture. Try to stand while taking a call or even consider talking to your boss about getting an adjustable desk. Stand-up meetings and walking meetings are becoming more common practice in offices and with good reason. Standing helps to keep your body healthy and prevents illness and stress.

4. Go coco-nuts!

Coconut water can help to keep your blood pressure in check

Most of us know the importance of staying hydrated. Drinking water alone can often become quite boring so if you fancy something with a bit more flavour, why not try coconut water. There is growing evidence that drinking coconut water will not only keep you hydrated but can also help to lower blood pressure as it’s rich in potassium and magnesium. Both minerals help to relax the walls of the blood vessels which helps to reduce blood pressure.

5. Time for walkies!

Kill two birds with one stone and volunteer as a dog walker on your lunchbreak

Step outside on your lunch break and go for a stroll. Did you know that lots of pet charities require regular dog walking volunteers? Why not get moving and support a good cause at the same time by taking a rescue dog for a walk during your lunchbreak?

Make the changes and you’ll feel the difference. Saying goodbye to a sedentary lifestyle helps to maintain a healthy weight, manage stress and boost quality of life, all while protecting against a wide-spectrum of diseases. What’s more, it supports your cardiovascular health and helps keep your blood pressure at a normal level.