How to Stay Healthy at Your Desk Job
It’s nothing new to hear about the negative health effects that accumulate from sitting behind a desk all day. Luckily, there are some easy ways to reduce the consequences of a mostly sedentary lifestyle.
When you’re sitting behind a desk for most of the day, it can be hard to stay healthy at your desk job. There are some unique challenges to overcome here. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that will help you make your health a priority while earning a promotion!
How to Stay Healthy at Your Desk Job
1. Be active during some part of the day.
Adding physical activity into your day can greatly reduce your stress levels, help keep you in shape and do wonders for your health.
It’s scary to hear that recent research suggest that even your sweat session at the gym might not be enough to thwart the effects of the 9-10 hours a day you spend sitting at work or watching T.V. Make it a goal to be active for 5-10 minutes every hour.
After an 8-hour workday, that’s about one hour you spent moving versus sitting. Instead of taking a break and checking on your social media sites, take a walk around the office. Don’t spend your lunch break in the Starbucks line! Fill up your reusable water bottle, grab a co-worker and take a walk around the block.
To get more steps in, use the restroom a few floors up (and take the stairs), rather than send an e-mail – go talk to your co-worker in person, park further away from your building and walk (alternatively, get off the subway a stop sooner), pace when taking a phone call, and do some stretching at your work area every 30 minutes or so to improve blood flow.
There are also stretches you can do at your desk that will help you improve stay limber and loose. Make sure you’re getting up from your desk at least once an hour!
2. Improve your posture.
If you find it difficult to get moving that often, you can at least improve your posture when you are sitting. Bad posture can lead to headaches, high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and fatigue. None of those things sound good to me!
To sit properly, keep your shoulders back and head high as if an invisible string is pulling you upwards. Have your chest facing forwards and aim to keep your cheekbones and collarbone in line.
If your company offers it, try to get an ergonomic chair or a standing desk. These options are better for your posture and your overall health. Your company should care about the health of their employees, after all.
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3. Watch what you eat.
If you aren’t paying attention, you could slowly start consuming hundreds of extra calories a day from eating lunch out, bored snacking, and your double-pump latte.
Avoid getting sucked into unhealthy eating habits by packing your own nutritious lunches and snacks. Sliced veggies such as carrots, celery, peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers make great snacks and can easily be packed with hummus or Greek-yogurt and nibbled on whenever you find yourself looking for food.
You can also bring your own easy salads with all kinds of fix-ins to keep a wholesome balance and variety in your lunches. Keep a reusable water bottle handy to keep you hydrated, full and focused throughout the day.
Office environments are notorious for overdoing it on the sweet stuff. Keep it in check by balancing your main meals with lots of veggies and protein. That way, a cupcake every now and then won’t throw you off too much!
4. Don’t neglect your mental health.
Don’t forget about your mental health! Adding a fun, neutral (read: no bikinis or alcohol) picture of you and your best friend in a pretty fame to rejuvenate you space. If you aren’t near a window, consider investing in a happy lamp or an OttLite that mimics natural daylight. This will bring some of the mood-boosting advantages of natural sunlight to your workspace.
Even adding a potted plant to your desk will bring the relaxing benefits of nature indoors and with it, fresh oxygen.
Don’t let your desk-job sabotage your health. Use some of these tips to make you a happier, more productive version of you and the best employee you can be!