4 Tips to Staying Active with a CAD Desk Job

Hey everybody, hope you’re all doing well and off to a great start to the school year if you are in school or enjoying the start of
football season like me (I spent Sunday watching the Seahawks and building a stroller in prep for our first baby:)!)

Seahawks and Strollers
Seahawks and Strollers

Both of those actually lead in to today’s post which is about making an extra effort to stay active and healthy while working at a desk job or sitting in classes like most of us do. As a designer, engineer or drafter most of our day is spent either sitting at a desk or possibly standing around the office or on site, we have very little activity and movement built in to our jobs. Add on to our sedentary jobs the fact that like me, most of us are interested in gaming, watching movies or just computers and tech in general and it makes it even more difficult to stay active as a designer/CAD user.

 

Not only can being sedentary cause health issues and lead to more sick days but it can leave us feeling unmotivated, having poor posture and feeling tired earlier in the day. So, in order to help step up our activity level and to feel better in general I have 4 tips that I’ve found help keep me active while not taking too much time out of my daily productivity.

Take a look at the points below and leave a comment below telling me what your favorite way to stay active is?

1. Take Regular Breaks from sitting at your desk
Boost your daily activity level by simply getting up and away from your desk a few more times each day.
I use a really simple app called BreakTaker  that pops up and reminds me to take a walk, get a drink or stretch at any interval that you can set.
Try it out and see how you feel, I’ve found I’m even more productive in my day when I take a few short breaks to relax and move around.
Here are a few tips and things to do on your mini breaks:
-walking around the office, take some stairs, take the long way to get a coffee, visit colleagues rather than messaging or emailing them.
If you’re feeling energetic try out a mini circuit like: 3 sets of 5 squats, pushups, planks or make up your own.

 2. Use Wearable Technology to make a game out of your activity level
If you’re like me and love playing with the newest tech consider getting a wearable activity tracker and setting step or active time goals. Then you can try and best your previous day, or weeks numbers. I suggest starting out with an easy/achievable goal to start and continually upping it when it becomes easy for you.

To get started quickly/free with your goals you can simply use an app to track steps/activity on your smartphone like S Health on Samsung, or just google fit for androids.

To get started with an activity tracker I like Fitbits offerings since they have a lot of options depending on how big a tracker you are looking for and how much data you’d like to track. Other options are available from a bunch of brands like: Under Armour, Jawbone and Misfit  ranging from around $50 to $150.

The new Fitbit Charge 2 has a ton of features and actually looks pretty cool too:

 3. Try switching to a standing or alternative desk
Studies show it can be more beneficial to use a standing desk than sitting all day, though it is somewhat debatable, having a bit of both is a pretty good idea. If feesable at work or if you work from home, try out an updesk adjustable desk option or if you’re looking for something really cool and unique try the Altwork Station, its quite pricey but man it looks sweet!

 4. Take advantage of your free and off time to stay active
-Go for a walk or run on your lunch break
-Hit the gym on the way to work or right after and make it part of your daily routine
– Visit project job sites as their being built/worked on or after completion
-Keep active on the weekends by planning fun activities in advance. I love planning hikes, canoe trips, mountain biking etc in advance to help make sure I stick to them and to have something fun to look forward to during the week.

Here are a couple of my favourite weekend day trips I’ve had a blast doing:

A photo posted by Brandon KL (@brandon_kl) on

A photo posted by Brandon KL (@brandon_kl) on

These are just a few tips to try and balance our desk and computer jobs with being active, let me know in the comments below what your favourite tricks are?

As always, thanks for reading and happy drafting!

PS. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on the right sidebar to keep up to date with new posts and news!

 

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Brandon is a Civil Designer, aspiring blogger and tech aficionado from a small town in Canada. He has been obsessed with design and technology since diapers (coincidentally, his amazing wife recently gave birth to their first son, Emmett, and diapers are now a majority of their free time) and working as a Civil Designer for nearly as long. Brandon’s blog and Youtube channel, CADIntentions.com has been his outlet and loving excuse for keeping up with new tech and trends in the CAD design world for the last five years growing to over 3 million views and being the source of many great friendships and opportunities.
  • Great tips.
    Working in a cubicle office for 9-10hrs a day really takes its toll – I feel like a lump most days if I sit too long. On top of the near-mindless repetitive tasks that CAD often requires, it really doesn’t do a body good. I find just getting up and walking around for a few minutes, about every 2hrs, does wonders for the mind & body – combined with a 10-15min walk at lunchtime, you can at least mitigate some of the effects of a sedentary work life.