Sedentary job health tips
Work is important, and so is health. But what if your job takes up most of your day and involves sitting at a desk for hours at end? We have some tips for you that’ll help you stay in shape despite your busy schedule.
Ditch that elevator
With busy schedules at work and home, many people don't get time to exercise as regularly as they should. The smarter thing to do is to inculcate as much activity as you can in your daily life. If your office is on the 5th floor or below, you can easily take the stairs and leave the lift for your lazier colleagues. And the next time you need something from that shop downstairs, resist the urge to send your office boy and go pick it up yourself. And naturally, you'll be taking the stairs.
A dull worksheet becomes instantly livelier with a bag of chips or samosa by your side. Unfortunately, those fried snacks are not doing your health any favours.
The trick is to snack smart. Always carry fruits with you for when the munchies strike. Keep healthy snacks like nuts, channa or seeds in your drawer and feast on those instead of biscuits and namkeens.
Get your quota of sleep
The importance of a good night's sleep cannot be overstated. It helps you stay energetic through the day which is especially important if you want to hit the gym at the end of a long workday. So do yourself a favour – sacrifice those late night movies and get some sleep instead!
Walk to the next bus stop
If you're just not getting the time to go to gym, at least try and get a 20 minute brisk walk in the day. One trick for those who use public transport is to walk for a couple of kilometres before you catch your bus or auto. Wear comfortable walking shoes and walk in the direction of your house before hopping on to a vehicle – you'll get some much required exercise and you'll also avoid wasting time just sitting in the evening traffic.
Mind those coffee breaks
The office coffee machine is one of the most frequently visited spots at any workplace. It feels like the most natural way of taking a break and many are addicted to the "kick" of caffeine. However, too much coffee or tea can be harmful as it stimulates the nervous system and makes the drinker feel unnaturally alert. This prevents the body from relaxing naturally and also causes it to crave for more and more caffeine. While it may keep you going through the day, by the end you'll feel absolutely washed out and all those plans of exercising will be forgotten.
Why not try some herbal tea instead? Or just good old water. Cut down your coffee intake to one or two cups a day and you'll certainly feel more energised to do more with your day. Also, you can definitely do without all those spoons of sugar you're taking with your hot beverage, making it another reason to say no to caffeine.
Take a break every hour or two
It's easy to get so engrossed in what you're doing that you don't even realise you've been sitting on your computer for hours at end. To stay fit and healthy, it's essential to get up and move around periodically through the day.
One trick is to set a memo for yourself in your mailbox calendar or your phone that reminds you to get up and walk every hour or two. Go get some water or just drop by at a colleague's desk and say hi. Whatever you do, just get up and stretch those legs.
Exercise during your lunch hour
This is a good option for those who have a gym close to work. If you're really serious about fitness, don't waste your lunch hour gossiping in the pantry. Instead, get a 45-minute workout and eat after you get back.
Carry your own lunch
This one's an oldie but a goodie. No matter how good your office caterer is or how healthy your neighbourhood sandwich shop claims to be, chances are food cooked at home will always be far healthier than anything you can buy outside.
If you have the choice, its best to carry lunch (and maybe even an evening snack) from home. This is beneficial in many ways – you spend less, you have portion control and you can choose to cook your food with fresh, healthy ingredients. It's a win-win!
Keep a bottle of water at your desk at all times. Drink up periodically and stay hydrated and healthy.
Get a good chair
Offices nowadays are quite concerned about their employees' health. If your chair is troubling you or give you a back ache, speak to someone about getting a new one. If that's not possible, get a cushion or back support for yourself. Make sure your chair is comfortable and at the right height – after all, you spend a large part of your day in it and a good chair goes a long way in a healthy you.
Walk around the office
Modern technology was designed to make things convenient for humans but very often ends up making us lazier! Thanks to instant messengers and email, people have stopped getting up and walking over to a colleague's desk for a quick discussion.