5 Ways to Stay Healthy at an Office Job
By Lindsay Howard, MS, Dietetic Intern
According to the American Heart Association, 80% of all American jobs are sedentary. This is an 83% increase from 1950! Research has shown that as time spent sitting increases, so does your risk for developing high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol. You are also more likely to suffer from low back pain, decreased mobility, and plummeting energy levels! Don’t let the 9 to 5 get you down. Here are 5 ways to stay healthy at a desk job.
1. Keep a BPA-free water bottle at your desk.
Even a small amount of dehydration can have a negative impact on your cognitive function and energy levels. Keeping water within arm’s reach will remind you to drink! Aim for ~ 16 oz. every 3 hours.
2. Pack a stash of healthy snacks in your desk drawer.
Ever get that mid-morning or late afternoon craving? Just say no to the vending machine (or as I like to call it; the sodium locker) and bring more energy-sustaining options like nuts, nut butter packets (e.g. Justin’s or Wild Friends), fresh fruit, or homemade granola bars. Incorporating a balanced snack between meals will help to keep blood sugar levels stable and sustain you throughout your work day.
3. Leave the office for lunch.
Utilize your lunch break to remove yourself from the office setting. Go outside, take a walk, socialize with co-workers, etc. A physical and mental break is essential to keep you motivated and functioning at full capacity! It will also help to reduce burnout and maintain high productivity.
4. Maintain good posture.
Sitting with good posture is not only good for back health but also alertness! Are you a sloucher? Try placing a small pillow at the lower part of your back. Looking to change it up completely? Try sitting on a physio ball or even use a standing desk!
5. Sneak in some exercise.
Take a lap around the building on your break. Opt for the stairs over the elevator. Get your co-workers involved by creating Fantasy Fit Ball Teams! Develop a point system for healthy habits and boost company morale.