When you are working towards being healthy, working at a desk job for eight hours a day can really hinder your physical activity and set you back on your weight loss goals. Even if you eat well and exercise on a regular basis, staying sedentary for a good portion of the day can have negative impacts on your overall health and well-being. Knowing the challenges of working in a sedentary environment, here are some tips to help you stay healthy even when you work at a desk.
- Take a Break
Just because you work at a desk in an office building doesn’t mean that you have to be glued to your chair and computer all day long. Take mini breaks every hour to grab a cup of coffee, chat with a colleague, take a quick walk around the block, go to the bathroom or simply just to walk down the hall and stretch your legs. Not only will you stretch your body by taking a short break every hour, but you’ll also be able to improve your focus and performance.
- Move in Place
If you don’t want to walk around or get up, then you can always stretch at your desk! Touch your toes, do some jumping jacks, stretch or get an under-desk elliptical to help get your blood moving. Don’t worry about what your co-workers will think – focus on yourself so you can eliminate stress and avoid tension that builds up after sitting still all day long.
- Take the Stairs
Unless you work on the top floor of a skyscraper, you should always choose the stairs over the elevator. Taking the stairs is an easy activity that you can fit into your routine multiple times a day. You can also choose to park your car further away from the building so you are forced to walk more – little changes like this can quickly add up to more physical activity throughout the day.
- Stay Active
Just because you spend your days at a desk does not mean that you should get home and sit in front of the TV and continue to be inactive. Find ways to work more physical activity into your life outside of work – wake up early for a yoga class, join an after work running club, schedule time at the gym or take a walk with friends or family in the evening.
- Stand While you Work
Sitting down for long periods of time is not good for you, period. Standing desks are becoming a growing trend and many employers are implementing them into the office setup. If this is an option for you take advantage of it – if not, then you can stack some big books, like dictionaries, and place your monitor on top so you can stand for periods of time throughout the day.
- Drink Water
Drinking water carries many benefits, the least of which is to keep you hydrated. Invest in a reusable water bottle and keep it on your desk – aim to drink at least one full bottle before lunch and another full bottle before you leave at the end of the day. Drinking water will keep you full and help you stay away from tempting snacks, plus it’ll have you getting up for refills and bathroom breaks throughout the day.
- Take an Active Lunch
Don’t spend your entire lunch hour sitting and eating – take the first half to eat your meal and spend the second half walking around the building. Ask a few colleagues to join you and make it a daily or weekly routine. Going outside even for a little bit will be good for your focus and mental health as well.
- Count your Steps
Studies show that adults need at least 10,000 steps a day to remain healthy. Grab a pedometer, or a fancy fitness watch and try to clock in 10,000 steps a day!
- Meal Plan
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is an essential part of living a healthy life. Meal prep at home during the weekend so that your lunches are prepared ahead of time – not only will you save money, but you will also ensure you eat well and stay away from heavy carbs and sugary treats.
Even if you lead a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly, spending all day sitting at your desk job isn’t good for you. But, with some careful planning and small changes you can incorporate movement into your daily routine to stay healthy even when you work at a desk. For more tips and tricks to improve your health and lifestyle, check out our blog.