The majority of Americans now have sedentary jobs. I believe this is one of the biggest contributors to the rise in obesity. This infographic from Daily Infographic details just what happens to your body when sitting. Spoiler: it isn’t pretty.
If your job involves using a computer, it is so easy to go hours without having to get up. Here are my tips for getting through the workday in a healthy way.
1. Force yourself to get up as much as possible. Go talk to coworkers instead of sending an email. Go to the restroom that is farthest away. Take a 5 minute walk down the hall. Anything that gets you up out of your chair will work. I try to watch the clock and if 30 minutes have gone by, I make myself get up and at least do a quick stretch which brings me to my next tip.
Other ways to move more: take the stairs and park in the spot farthest from the door.
2. Stretch! Sitting at a computer can wreak havoc on your neck, back, and shoulders. Take some time to do some desk stretches. I often search for a short YouTube video to follow and sometimes my co workers will join in. We also store a yoga mat in our office so I sometimes will do some yoga moves or a couple of planks.
I also will do a plank while I am waiting for food to heat up in the microwave. Now I understand if you have a public breakroom that might be a little awkward but the point is to try to squeeze in some activity whenever you can.
3. Sit on an exercise ball. I have been trying to do this more and more. I find that I move a lot more when I use it. I also will use it to stretch by leaning back and stretching out my chest and abs.
4. Bring a water bottle. Try to set a goal of refilling it a couple of times a day. I usually have my 32 oz bottle and try to fill it up at least twice so I know I am staying hydrated.
5. Pack healthy snacks. I never ever go to work without food packed. I always pack a lunch and a few snacks. It is much easier to give in to office treats or the vending machine if you don’t have your own food packed. I don’t tend to store food at work since I find I eat it when I’m not really hungry. I like to pack just enough to get me through one day.
I also find that at work, I’ll reach for snacks when I am hitting that afternoon slump or if I am just flat out bored. If I pack healthy snacks, at least I know I’m eating something nutritious rather than giving in to the basket of Reese’s Cups that are sitting in our break room right now (I’m not going to give in!).
Have a happy and healthy day!