If you work a desk job, research shows you’re more likely to be obese, have metabolic syndrome and even have higher risks for cardiovascular disease. Great for the majority of us workers then, huh?
Well, you really don’t have to be at risk if you make a conscious effort to change a few things. In fact, you could still lose weight and reach health goals all while keeping your desk job. Phew. Aren’t you glad there are ways around the desk job? And you were about to quit huh? Don’t quit, just change these 10 things.
TIP #1: Ditch the Drinks
Soda, coffee, mochas, energy drinks.…whatever you’re drinking, it it’s not water, just ditch it. Having these drinks on your desk all day will not only increase your calorie intake, but will contribute to other unwanted damage to your teeth, your heart and digestive system. Sugary and caffeinated drinks will cause rise and falls of your energy and ability to think clearly which will decrease your productivity overall. If your boss knew that, they’d ban everything but water too.
TIP #2: Stand Instead of Sit
Standing increases energy, burns extra calories, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow and ramps up metabolism. What more do you need to know?
TIP #3: Pack Your Snacks, Resist the Vending Machine
Vending machines rarely have anything of high nutritional benefit. Like the sugary drinks we talked about above, most vending machine options are not only high in sugar and sodium, they contain artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives and these chemicals are toxic to your body. By toxic, I mean that they will overload your system and contribute to all kinds of health issues. In the short term, they will only take away hunger pangs, but not provide energy or nutrition. Don’t skip snacks all together. Pack some from home with a balance of nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats. An example is cut up fresh veggies with black bean dip and a homemade guacamole.
TIP #4: Take a Candy Bowl Detour
Every office seems to have them. If you walk by it, your hand might grab some. Just take a detour, go a different direction. Make it out of sight, out of mind. If you’re craving something sweet in the afternoon, it’s likely your body needs a nutritious pick me up. Try an apple with peanut butter.
TIP #5: Lunch In Versus Lunch Out
Packing your lunch at home when you’re NOT hungry and in a hurry will help you to pack smart choices as a opposed to the option of racing to the nearest restaurant when you’re starving on your lunch break. With the menu full of pictures and a growling stomach, you’re less likely to choose healthy options (if there are any.)
TIP #6: Get Some Air
Every couple of hours, leave your desk and take a few quick laps, preferably outside. A bit of increased heartrate will increase oxygen intake and blood flow. This will not only increase your ability to think, but will provide benefits to your heart, lungs and muscles if done consistently and frequently. I had a friend years ago who lost over 30 pounds by taking 2- 10 minute walking breaks and a 30 minute walking lunch each day.
TIP #7: Do a Chair Workout
Make your chair a piece of exercise equipment. You might want to close your office door or you could invite your co-workers to join you! Who says you have to go to the gym to get a workout? Here’s an idea of a workout you could easily do at your desk.
Quick Chair Workout
- Squat Taps 30x (Sit back of chair and tap your butt)
- Triceps Dips 20X (Do it off of chair)
- Incline Push-ups 20X (Off Chair or Table)
- Seated Leg Extension 30X each leg (sit of edge of chair, lift knee, extend leg)
- Knee Tucks 25X (sit at back of chair, lean back slightly and tuck in knees)
TIP #8: Bike or Walk to Work
This is pretty self explanatory. If you sit all day, compensate by being active when you’re not working. Biking or walking to work is a great option for this. If you live too far away, how about loading your bike up and driving to a parking lot a little closer to work? Leave your car, and bike the rest of the way. Even better, meet a few friends for a ride together.
TIP #9: Take the Stairs
If you have the option, take the stairs. Even if you don’t need to take the stairs do it anyway. Stair climbing is great for strengthening muscles in your legs and also has great cardiovascular benefits.
TIP #10: Loading Time and Holding Time are a Great Time for Exercise
While you’re waiting for a website to load, for a document to download, or for someone to get back to you on the phone while you’re on hold, get up and move. See how many squats you can get in while waiting. Or do a few tricep dips off of the edge of your chair. Jog in place, stretch it out, shake it out. Even fidgeting increases your overall calorie burn. Replace your chair with a stability ball and not only improve your posture, but give yourself a fun seat to bounce on in your wait times.
Implement all 10 of these strategies and you can not only stay on track with weight loss goals, but you’ll more easily maintain a healthy weight AND increase your productivity.