Does a desk job hold you down? Eighty percent of Americans have sedentary jobs, which can pose problems for healthy living. Holding a job is associated with a busier routine and fewer opportunities for exercise.
Don’t let an office job get the best of your eating and exercise habits. Here are five ways to fit in fitness at work.
Change your commute. Consider walking or biking to work. If that’s not possible, park farther from the office and go the distance on foot.
Take body breaks. Studies show that getting up from the chair and moving is a way to get more exercise and increase productivity. Consider walking to a coworker’s office instead of sending an e-mail, extending the distance between your computer and printer and using a phone headset so you can walk while you talk.
Make your move. Make the most of lunches and breaks. Walking with colleagues is a great way to exercise, unwind and socialize. If there’s a fitness center nearby and time allows, pack a change of clothes and squeeze in a quick workout. Even standing at your desk and doing leg and back stretches gets the blood moving and boosts energy.
Think win-win. Ask your employer about health-related perks. To help staff members be healthy, motivated and productive, some employers offer discounted gym memberships or access to onsite fitness equipment.
Snack smart. Keep a stash of healthy snacks on hand to avoid impulse purchases from vending machines and convenience stores. Don’t continue to work while you eat. Instead, focus on the food and your feelings of hunger and fullness to prevent mindless munching.
- Super snacks: Stock a desk drawer with healthy snacks such as cereal, whole wheat crackers, trail mix, whole or dried fruit, and single-serve packs of apple sauce, peanut butter, and jelly.
- Go nuts: Nuts are full of protein, fiber and good fats, leaving you satisfied with a small amount. Just add protein: Protein helps keep blood sugar in balance and hunger in check. Portable sources of protein include jerky, single-serve peanut butter, cheese, yogurt and hummus.
- Keep it cold: Use the employee fridge or an insulated cooler and freezer pack to stock perishables such as milk, yogurt, cheese and hummus. Pair with granola or crackers for a complete snack in seconds.