Long working hours and a stressful job can lead to an ever increasing waistline, so what methods can you employ to reduce the impact a predominately sedentary role could have on your health?
I’ve listed nine tips below with ways that can help you look to stay fitter in and outside work. Some are easy fixes, whereas others may take a little bit more of a lifestyle change to get on board.
Let’s start with one of the easy ones…..
Workout at work: 1. Take Regular Fitness Breaks
Sitting in a stuffy office all day will quickly bring on the onset of fatigue. Getting a bit of fresh air, whether for a short break or at lunch will help reset your concentration as well as the added bonus of burning a few calories and giving your metabolism a boost to boot!
Workout at work: 2. Plan Meals in Advance
Without wanting to conceited, I always bring enough food to graze on during the day and have a wonderful partner who makes my sandwiches every day, ensuring I don’t buy some calorie-stacked monstrosity from Eat or Subway. I also bring in plenty of fruit, nuts and seeds to ensure I don’t pop to the local shop for something from Cadbury.
Workout at work: 3. Eat Regularly
And by eating several smaller meals throughout the working day, I’m able to keep my mind sharp and my belly full. Small healthy meals offer the nutrition that I need, rather than sugar loaded snacks which will give you an initial boost followed by a slump in the afternoon.
Workout at work: 4. Take the stairs
I know what a cliché eh? But let’s say you are a 12 stone bloke, walking up stairs for just three minutes can burn 20 to 30 calories. That doesn’t sound much, but now factor in walking those same stairs after lunch and you’ve burned between 40 and 60 calories. Over a working week that’s an additional 200 to 300 calories from one modest change in routine, just think of that over a year!
Workout at work: 5. Stay hydrated
I drink far too much coffee, I’ll admit that. I probably have 3 cups every morning, but come the afternoon I switch to water to keep me hydrated.
Staying hydrated is essential for both your health and your concentration levels at work. Working in an air conditioned office can speed up moisture evaporation from our skin and lungs, so we need to drink more water to replenish accordingly.
Dehydration can also bring on headaches and depression. Ideally you should be looking to drink around 2 litres of water during the working day.
Workout at work: 6. Protect your eyes
Sitting at your desk staring at a monitor all day can put a real strain on your eyes. Try and ensure that you don’t sit to near the screen; optometrists recommend a distance of at least 50cm.
And although this may sound a little bit ridiculous, you should always ensure you blink! Blinking is essential because it spreads tears over the surface of the eye and without it, the corneal surface dries out. Normally we blink around 20 times per minute, but using a computer this can drop to as low as seven. Luckily though, the experts believe that this has no long-term effect.
Try and ensure that you have time away from your computer to protect your eyesight and get regular eye tests.
Workout at work: 7. Take Regular Breaks
I recently wrote a blog all about the importance of taking a lunch break and how detrimental it can be to your health and productivity if you skip it.
But as well enhancing your productivity with a regular lunch break, you should also realise the importance of taking other shorter breaks throughout your working day.
Just getting away from your desk for 5 to 10 minutes will rejuvenate you and reduce the chances of feeling burnout at work.
Workout at work: 8. Keep Fit!
Hopefully you will have been inspired by the recent Olympics and will set aside time in your week to combat the effects of having that sedentary job with a bit of exercise.
And if it all gets a bit hectic in the week, then try and ensure that your weekends are not wasted with sleep, lounging about and television, however appealing that all sounds!
Workout at work: 9. Leave On Time
It may seem a bit obvious, but many people who regularly do unpaid overtime are left feeling less than healthy about their job as their work life balance is eroded.
We all have to do the extra hour here and there, but if you are required to work overtime on a regular basis, it may well be worth arranging with your manager so that you get remuneration or time off in lieu. Otherwise, you may want to review your time management to try and get tasks done during the normal working day.
Otherwise feel free to get in touch with me personally, via Twitter or LinkedIn below.