If you work an office job and spend most of your day behind a desk it’s important to take some small actions to stay active. A highly demanding, yet sedentary, job can have negative effects on your health including bad posture, high stress levels, slowed circulation, muscle cramping and weight gain. When you feel good and have higher energy levels throughout the day you are bound to be more productive, confident and alert while being a kick ass employee. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you to stay fit at your day job.
Make Your Workspace Work for You
Invest in, or send in a request for, a standing desk or stability ball chair. A standing desk will get you off your butt allowing for proper blood flow and circulation. Having the option to either stand or sit allows for a range of movement throughout the day. Using a stability ball as a chair allows you to practice proper posture and engage your core throughout the day. If you are on the phone all day opt for a headset to prevent a kinked neck and to allow you to movement or stretching while you chat. Which brings me to my next point….
Get the Blood Flowing
There is always time for stretching! Tightness can lead to fatigue, injury soreness and lack of mobility. There are plenty of stretches that can be done both sitting or standing that will allow you to eliminate these negative effects, improve your posture and allow more oxygen through your lungs – improving your alertness and overall productivity. Try to follow the 20-20 rule. Set an alert on your phone or computer for every 20 minutes. All you need is 20 seconds of quick stretching and standing up from your chair. Then, every two hours, run through a series of stretches starting from the feet to the neck and hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Everything within Reach
If you’re unable to leave your desk frequently it is key to have the tools you need easily accessible. It is important to fuel and hydrate every couple of hours – not just on your lunch break – so having desk snacks and water on hand is crucial. And by desk snack I don’t mean chips or pop that you scored from the vending machine. Plan ahead and prepare some balanced healthy snacks that you can toss in your desk drawer and munch on throughout the day. A few ideas – trail mix, fruit, raw veggies, protein bars, rice cakes. Also keep a large jug of water on your desk. It’s easy to forget to hydrate so having a 2-4L jug on your desk will remind you to drink up. Aim to get through a minimum 2L each day.
Make the Most of your Breaks
The time you have away from your desk is the best opportunity for you to be active. Many employers offer group classes over the lunch hour or are located close to a fitness facility that offers noon hour classes. This mid-day sweat session will boost your energy for the rest of the day and will spike you metabolism and heart rate so you are burning calories at a faster rate. If you are unable to get to a class go for a walk, utilize the stairs in your building or enroll your fellow colleges in a lunch time running group. If you don’t end up getting a workout in throughout the office hours then it is important to schedule one in early morning or right after work. If you choose to go after work I always recommend you go straight to the gym from the office. If you stop at home first there are too many distractions – like your really comfy sofa…
Avoid Dining Out
This seems to be the biggest challenge for many of my corporate clients. Lunch time meetings or networking events usually go hand in hand with restaurant food and drinks. Bringing a pre-made lunch is always the best option but if you can’t avoid dining out be sure to opt for small portions – if you know you have a lunch meeting coming up make sure you have a larger than normal breakfast and bring extra desk snacks for the day. Down a protein shake before heading to lunch to satisfy your appetite and order a small side salad or appetizer at the restaurant.
Check out more tips on Eating Out
Let me know if these ideas help or if you have any tricks of your own! I would love to hear them in the comments below 🙂