Vitality

Office Survival: 9 Diet And Exercise Tips To Help Get You Through Your Work Day

Most office workers sit all day, from commuting in the car or on the train to typing away at a computer or sitting in meetings. Recent research has found this 21st-century sedentary way of living increases the risk for developing a disease or condition that will lead to a premature death. Our proclivity to reach our hands into the desk drawer or slink over to the vending machine for snacks doesn’t help our health either.

Spending 50 hours a week in the same environment teaches the mind to fall into habits, some of which may be harming our bodies in the long run. Check out these diet and exercise tips to follow throughout your work day to keep you as healthy and active as possible.

Surviving In The Office Staying healthy and active through your work day is the key to improving life on the weekends. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, public domain

1. Meetings On-The-Go

Instead of messaging your coworker a few cubicles over, stand up, walk over, and make face-to-face contact. Not only is it good to collaborate in person with human interaction, but it’ll get you off your behind and send a little blood flow back into your legs.

2. Take A Stand

Standing desks have become popular options for workers to invest in. With height-adjustable products from companies like Varidesk, you can easily slide the desk into place without having to MacGyver a stack of books under your monitors.

3. Walk and Work

Walking desks, like the LifeSpan treadmill desk one of Medical Daily’s own reporters tried out, can really help focus your mind while burning calories and avoiding the seated position. Sitting down for long periods of time doesn’t expend much energy at all, but taking a nice slow walk while you type can help you stay active without slowing down the workload.

4. Sitting Without A Seat

Maybe you remember wall sits from gym class or as a punishment on your high school sports team. Find an empty wall without any paintings, posters, or windows, and lean your back flat onto the space. Bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Set your cell phone timer or watch, sit, and hold your position for 30 to 60 seconds. This quick exercise can help engage your legs without cutting into your day.

5. Squeeze In Secret

If you don’t want to call so much attention to yourself, stay seated and start counting. Squeeze your buttocks muscles tightly, hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat for three sets of 10 to 20, depending on how it tires you. For ladies, kegel exercises for your pelvic floor muscles are also possible to pull off in secrecy.

6. Breakfast Boost

According to research, diets that focus on a big, nutrient-dense breakfast have been shown to reduce appetite throughout the day and contribute to weight loss and improved cholesterol. A healthy breakfast has been shown to boost academic performance in children, so it’s likely it can do the same to help get you through a sluggish morning and provide enough energy all the way until lunchtime.  

7. Meal Prep-Proof

If you don’t have a plan, a hungry stomach could steer you in the wrong direction. But by bringing a bagged lunch to work with you, you can full-proof your approach to keeping yourself satisfied throughout the day. To follow meal prep tips for beginners, read our guide here.

8. Snack Attack

Fight against giving into the unhealthy snacks waiting for you in the vending machine down the hall. There’s nothing worth wasting calories on in those machines, even if it’s just a few quarters. Instead, be sure to keep healthy, filling snacks hidden in your drawer for emergency-like cravings. High-protein snacks like almonds, pumpkin seeds, granola bars, hummus and carrot sticks, and cheese sticks (keep those in the fridge, please), are great alternatives to a sad bag of potato chips. 

9. Hydrate!

Keep a water bottle by your side and make sure as soon as you drink it, refill it. Staying hydrated keeps the body alert, healthy, and running smoothly. To stay adequately hydrated, try to drink three or four 8-ounce bottles of water at your desk each day, and throw in some sliced lemons, limes, or berries into the mix for flavor and a dash of extra nutrients.

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