Thousands of people across the UK work in offices and other sedentary roles. This type of working environment is extremely common but it’s far from beneficial from a fitness point of view. Being stuck to a desk all day doesn’t give you the chance to treat your body with the respect it deserves. You can hardly keep fit and healthy whilst you’re on the telephone, email or completing other work tasks.
The other risk with working in an office is the constant access to snacks. Many offices have vending machines and the ones that don’t you can be sure that there’ll be an office hero who brings in the snacks. It’s near impossible to avoid the bowl of sweeties on the desk next to yours if you’re sat staring at it all day. It’s no wonder our waistlines are expanding.
Don’t lose hope! Below we’ve got some simple yet effective tips which will help you stay active, avoid fatty foods and hopefully ensure you remain fit and healthy despite all the office based obstacles in your way.
Take a Break
You’ve probably heard this one before but it’s recommended that all office workers or individuals working at a computer take a break every 20 minutes or so. This could be as simple as popping to the loo or simply taking a short walk around the office. You need to give your eyes a break as well get the circulation going around your body too. Obviously there will be times where you’re tied into a task for 20 minutes or more but where possible always ensure you’re up on your feet as often as possible. Another suggestion is to actually walk over to the desk of your colleague rather than phoning them or sending them an email.
Don’t Dine at your Desk
A common habit of office workers and others in sedentary roles is to simply pull their lunch out of their bag and not move from their seat whilst gobbling up those calories. It’s not hard to see this in unhealthy. Take the opportunity to get outside and stretch your legs and if you can enjoy a brisk walk, even if it’s simply to pick up your dinner from a local shop. Get that blood pumping and you’ll feel better for it.
Avoid those tempting snacks
Yes, the sweetie bowl is in front of your but in front of that pile high the healthy snacks you know are beneficial for your diet and exercise plan. Take in your own snacks and then you’ve got a valid excuse, without upsetting anyone, when they offer you one of their tasty yet fattening treats.
To avoid hunger keep eating regularly and ensure you have healthy snacks including breakfast bars, fruit and nuts. You’ll also be less likely to reach for the sweets if you’ve had a filling breakfast. You can use your healthy snacks as an incentive and reward yourself when you’ve finished a particularly tricky piece of work.
Staying hydrated in the workplace is essential, but rather than saying ‘Yes’ every time someone offers to brew up a cuppa keep a glass of iced water on your desk at all times. As well as keeping you cool and refreshed it will also be a visual reminder to avoid caffeine and sugar-filled drinks. You’ll also be more likely to drink regularly.
Dehydration will affect your health, your impetus to exercise and your concentration so don’t risk it. Keep sipping that water.
Just Keep Going
The most important tip for keeping active is not to stop when you get home! It’s so tempting to finish work, curl up on the sofa and enjoy TV all evening but this will do you no good. Stay on your feet as much as you can, carry out all your chores and work in a home exercise session and you’ll feel much better for it in the long run.
You’ve been sat down all day so break the habit and spend as much time as you can on your feet. You may feel tired but in reality your body needs to be stretched.
Another thing to consider when working a sedentary job is when you’re going to fit your workouts in. It can be invigorating to visit your gym in the morning before work so you’re primed for the day whilst others prefer the burn at lunch time. It can be equally effective to work out immediately after finishing work and some people even choose to work out after they’ve been home and eaten dinner. If you only have time for weekend workouts then make the most of them and utilise all these tips to ensure you don’t end up undoing all the good work of the weekends.
With so many people working in sedentary environments it’s important we consider how to remain active to ensure that unhealthy habits don’t take over completely.
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Kath Webb
by Kath Webb
by Jessica Ambrose