In college, I was an active person. It wasn’t that I worked out a lot or played sports. It was inadvertent, but true. From the dorm I lived in, as well as the house I lived in my junior and senior years, it was roughly a 10 minute walk to my classes. And I typically made that walk several times per day. After classes, I would head to my job a server where I was on my feet power walking all over the restaurant for 4-8 hours, depending on the day. I was on my feet a lot. So much so that I didn’t really have to think about health and fitness outside of school and work. Today is a different story. In the two years I’ve been working at my current job, I’ve learned how very different it is working at a desk job. While I enjoy the stability, the normal schedule, the evenings and weekends off, etc., there are certainly downsides. Those downsides include the health detriments that come from sitting in one place 8-9 hours per day. But hey, that’s part of adulting, right? To help remedy this, today I’m sharing some tips to stay healthy at a desk job.
Take regular breaks
Every hour, get up from your desk and move your legs. Take a walk around the office, stretch out, get a drink of water, etc. The important thing is just to get a little movement.
Stretch at your desk
While it’s important to get away from your desk once in a while, there are things you can do while you’re still sitting at your desk! You can stretch your arms and shoulders, stretch your neck, and stretch out your legs.
Take the stairs
This one seems so obvious, but I’m willing to bet most of us skip it! I remember living on the 9th floor of a dorm building and regularly challenging myself to take the stairs. Now I work in a 4 story building and almost always take the elevator if I’m going more than one floor up! This is something I definitely need to improve on.
Change your work environment
It is becoming more common for HR departments to provide special work equipment for employees who need or want it. Two examples are standing desks and exercise balls in place of chairs.
Work on your posture
Sitting at a desk all day can be hard on your body, and poor posture can make that even worse. Make sure to sit up straight. Stop hunching your shoulders and leaning back in your chair. Just these small changes can do wonders for your back!
I know that sometimes an entire afternoon will go by and I’ll realize I haven’t filled my water bottle a single time! It’s so important to remember to hydrate though. Sitting at a desk all day can make it difficult to forget though. Once you get in the habit though, it’s so much easier! The more water I drink, the more I have to get up to use the bathroom. Every time I have to get up to use the bathroom, I have the opportunity to take a short walk, as well as refill my water bottle!
Pack a healthy lunch
When I was in college and on my feet all day between walking to classes and waiting tables, I could easily get away with eating pizza, burgers, and huge subs for lunch every day without gaining weight. Now, not so much. I have to be far more conscious of what I’m eating during the day. I know if I go out to lunch I won’t eat as healthy, so I bring my lunch everyday (except for special occasions).
Take advantage of time at home
I know the last thing I want to do when I get home from a long day at work is hop on the elliptical or go for a run. I really just want to lay on the couch and watch Netflix! But after sitting at a desk all day, my body needs movement. If you’re sitting all day at work, take advantage of your time at home to make up for all that sitting.
What do you do to stay healthy while working at a desk?
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