As many people know very well, it’s not easy to sit at a desk job for 8 or more hours per day and feel like you’re staying in shape and being healthy. If you’re trying to avoid the vending machine and what seems like a sedentary lifestyle, here are 20 ways for you to stay healthy and lose weight while you’re at work!
1. Take Walks.
More often than not, we are all guilty of becoming too attached to our work deadlines. Long, stressful hours spent crunched up at a desk often result in aches, pains and mental frustration. The silly part is that these issues are easy to avoid, yet most of us ignore the obvious. That is: Take a walk! Not only will taking a walk give your body a chance to stretch, but it will also give your mind a break from thinking too hard. When your brain and body feel refreshed, new ideas flow easier. Give it a try, we promise it will work!
2. Drink Water.
Soda, coffee, energy drinks – they are everywhere in a typical office environment. Most of the time, these culprits are there to give you caffeine to boost your energy and help you to get more done. Until you crash. Drinking too much soda adds excess pounds from empty calories, and drinking too much caffeine will make you feel terrible in the long run. The best option is water. Water will hydrate you, help you lose or maintain weight and keep you healthy!
3. Eat Healthy.
Step away from the vending machine! Now back up and grab some fruit, nuts or a whole wheat snack. Far too often the stress associated with work and deadlines leads to emotional bad eating. Keep your priorities straight by planning your snacks ahead of time.
4. Maintain Good Posture.
Sitting for long hours – sometimes hunched over – can cause everything from tension in the neck and shoulders to back pain. Typing in a stiff position can lead to issues with fingers and hands. Remember to sit up straight with both feet planted on the floor. When you type or use your mouse, keep your wrists in a neutral position. These things will save you a lot of pain down the road.
5. Take Vacations.
You get vacations for a reason – to take them! Working long hours with no time off is detrimental to your health and, ironically, to your work. The more you push yourself with no breaks, the less you will actually achieve.
6. Take Breaks.
Breaks rejuvenate the mind and body. Stepping away from your desk for even five minutes can make a positive difference in the way you feel and the way you work. Set an alarm on your phone or your computer to remind yourself to take one!
7. Bring Your Own Lunch.
Nothing says unhealthy for your body and pocketbook like eating out for every lunch. Most of the time, restaurant foods are loaded with salt or just aren’t great for you. You may not have time to prepare a lunch every day, so take leftovers from dinner the night before.
8. Limit Happy Hour Drinks.
We know, it’s fun to go out after work for some office gossip and a few drinks. Just keep in mind that alcoholic drinks often equal empty calories. Keep drinks to a minimum and try drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks if you plan to have more than one.
9. Avoid Eye Strain.
Eye strain related to computer jobs has become a major workplace complaint over the last several years. To avoid this annoying problem, make sure that you have good lighting at your desk. Light that is too bright near your computer will hurt your eyes. Avoid fluorescent lighting and see if you can use indirect incandescent or halogen lights instead.
10. Wash Your Hands.
Office spaces are known to be breeding grounds for germs. To avoid getting sick, make sure to wash your hands after sharing keyboards, phones, printers, fax machines and copiers.
11. Learn To Manage Stress.
Stress can be good, but too much of it can become a huge problem for you. Deadlines, high expectations from a boss and other workplace stress can cause you mental and physical issues. Learn to deal with stress by developing healthy responses to it, such as taking time to relax, seeking support and learning how to communicate with your boss.
12. Ensure That Your Work Station Is Ergonomically Correct.
Your chair should be at a height where your feet are planted flat on the floor, and your elbows should be bent between 90 and 110 degrees while you are typing. Your wrists should fall into a neutral position while your forearms should be parallel to the floor.
13. Lift Safely.
If you have to lift items on the job, you can prevent back injuries by using slow movements while picking something up. Keep the object close to your body and lift with your legs, keeping your back straight.
14. Clean Your Mouse And Keyboard Regularly.
If you share a keyboard or mouse with co-workers, make sure to wipe these objects with antibacterial wipes before you use them.
15. Keep Relaxing Items At Your Desk.
A funny calendar, a framed picture of your family, a memento from your last vacation – these are great examples of stress reducers you can keep at your desk. So go ahead and decorate!
16. Take The Stairs.
Need we say more? Taking the stairs is good exercise away from your desk. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid the elevator!
17. Bike Or Walk To Work If You Can.
We understand that not everyone can bike to work for the benefits of great exercise. If you can’t bike to work, find out if you can bike halfway and then take public transportation the rest of the way. Think about it like this: you can get your whole workout in before the work day even starts!
18. Stretch In Place.
While you’re working, take short little stretch breaks. Roll your wrists. Move your neck from side to side. Stretch your arms above your head. Any form of stretching helps prevent your muscles from cramping up.
19. Say No To Sweets.
Is it time to celebrate all of the monthly office birthdays with a cake again? Or is it time for a meeting officiated by a boss with 2 boxes of doughnuts? Here’s a hint: bring some fruit to the event and you won’t feel left out when you pass on sugary foods.
20. Drink Tea Instead Of Coffee.
Instead of filling your coffee cup over and over again throughout the day, try some different flavors of herbal tea. Too much caffeine isn’t good for your health and a lot of people like to add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to each cup. Instead, herbal teas will provide you with great flavor and a nice hot drink.