Anyone who has ever worked in an office job will agree that it’s surprisingly tough to maintain a healthy lifestyle while spending most of the time behind a desk. It can be hard to commit to a proper exercise routine, and I, for one, find it almost impossible to resist the influx of table-top treats distributed round the office on an almost daily basis. But fear not - making a few smalls changes to your day will have a marked impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.
Let’s get physical
It’s easy to spend the whole day sat on your chair if you’re in the zone with whatever you’re working on, but it’s so important to get up and move around. There are loads of ways to sneak a bit of exercise in to the day – take the stairs instead of the lift, take a stroll at lunch, even just standing up at your desk can massively improve your posture and circulation. For the more adventurous “desk-ercisers” out there, there’s a ton of office-appropriate stretches and yoga positions you can do in order to get your body moving if you’ve been sedentary for a while.
Packed Lunch with a punch
Planning your own meals will not only save the temptation to grab something unhealthy on the fly, but also works out a lot cheaper than buying lunch every day. Lean protein with fresh vegetables and fruit will help fight off that mid-afternoon slump. Healthy snacks are also a desk-drawer must have to beat cravings. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are all perfect in moderation but have high levels of fats and sugars respectively, so enjoy sparingly.
Now that’s what I call high quality H20
We’re meant to drink around 2 litres of water a day, with those doing lots of exercise or living in a hot climate needing more. Make sure you drink this in small amounts during the day – downing pint after pint in one go doesn’t count! It’s worth investing in a good water bottle, like the CamelBack Eddy Bottle (or similar). It’s BPA free, carries a litre of water, and has a bite-valve so no spilling or tipping required. The list of health benefits for drinking enough water is seemingly endless, but includes helping to curb appetite, clearing the skin, preventing headaches and boosting energy.
Take a break
Whilst it might seem like the best way to get through is a task is to just go for it until it’s done, the brain needs time to rest between periods of concentration. In order to stop yourself burning out, it’s vital to have a breather or the whole thing will become counter-productive and you’ll lose focus or concentration. Websites like http://www.calm.com/ and http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/ are a great opportunity to rest your mind for a moment or two. Equally, be aware of how long you’ve been staring at your screen, considering the 20:20:20 theory (every 20 minutes, look at something over 20 meters from you, for 20 seconds) to prevent headaches and eye strain.
One of the most important things you can do the help keep healthy in the office, is something you do once you get home – getting a good night’s sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and alert, with a sufficient amount of shut-eye being proven to boost productivity, memory and concentration. Being tired is like running on empty, so you’ll experience hunger pangs and caffeine cravings if you don’t get enough rest.
Advances in modern technology have meant that almost everything we do is governed by our devices. Try taking a proper break from your tablet, smartphone or computer at least once a day. You’re more likely to achieve tasks when not distracted by technology, and giving up your device at night can dramatically improve sleep. It’s time to get over your FOMO and switch off for a while!
It takes some effort to remember these things but it won’t take long before it becomes routine and you’ll start to reap the benefits. I’ve certainly seen a difference in how I feel by implementing these in to my working day – so give it a try and see how you feel! Let us know how you get on, or what you do the keep fit and healthy in the office.
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