Office jobs are really common and extremely popular… and for good reason. Eight hour working days and claiming weekends for your own are just two of the regular benefits enjoyed by many office workers. But while there are some great perks, working at a desk isn’t the best thing for your health.
If your day job involves sitting for hours at a time, you’ll often go home feeling mentally and physically drained and though this may seem ironic since you haven’t moved around a lot – it’s the fact you haven’t been active that is the problem.
It’s a well-known fact that you can’t out-train a bad diet, and in sitting for long periods of time, you’ll make it even more difficult to drop the pounds or even just stay fit.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, here’s our top tips for staying fit during the working day.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it sets you up for the hours of work ahead, providing you with the energy and nutrients you need to be as productive and happy as possible! Don’t skip it – if you don’t have time to grab something before you leave for work, why not keep a box of cereal at your work.
2. Take the stairs
The difference that walking up a couple flights of stairs each day will make on your daily step count and overall fitness levels will astound you. Climbing stairs builds and strengthens muscles and in the long run you’ll feel mentally satisfied with your daily mini-workouts.
3. Schedule your meals
If you plan ahead there’s less chance of going to a takeaway place on your lunch hour for convenience. Plan your meals on Sunday night to track what you’re eating and how long they’ll take to prepare so you can factor in a quick after-lunch walk before your break is over.
4. Sit up straight
Posture is everything – your nan was right. Adjust your monitor so it’s at eyelevel or if you have a laptop, adjust your chair so that you are looking face-on at your screen rather than looking down on it.
5. Take a break from the screen
While your work is important, of course, it’s just as important to look away from your screen. Otherwise you risk getting regular headaches and making mistakes due to tiredness.
6. Find excuses to move around
Make a cup of tea, go to the photocopier, if you need to ask a colleague a question walk over to their desk rather than send them an email – it’s the little things which make the biggest differences. Taking time to move gets the oxygen flowing to your brain – its basically a reset button!
7. Group exercise
Personal trainers always suggest going to classes and finding a training buddy. Why? Because if you’re training with someone or with a group you can motivate each other. The same goes for office exercise – everyone in your office is in the same boat. Why not suggest some lunchtime yoga or an after-lunch stroll!
8. Avoid snacking, or snack on healthier foods
We’ve all had mid-afternoon cravings – it gets to 2.30pm, you look at the clock…there’s still two and a half hours left of the working day. Lunch time is over, and you want something else to get through the day. Sometimes the thought of extra food is quite motivational – so if you crave a mid-afternoon snack, why not buy cereal bars and fruit and get rid of the chocolate stash.
9. Drink lots of water
The recommendation is that everyone should drink around 8 cups of water each day to maintain peak health. As well as keeping you hydrated, it can also ensure you stick to your regular breaks. The more you drink, the more you’ll need to walk to the water cooler, and to the bathroom (see point 6).
10. And…don’t feel bad about saying no
When there’s cakes, chocolates and other sweet treats being passed around, it’s easy to feel like you have to have one. But don’t feel pressurised into taking some – no-one will notice or particularly care if you pass on a slice of Sandra’s birthday cake…