Today, a lot of people work behind a desk in jobs that are mentally exhausting. Even after ten hours of sitting behind a computer screen, the chances are you don’t feel up to hitting the gym; a pattern that can cause health problems after a while.
According to the American Medical Association, choosing to sit for long periods of time–particularly in one position–can have an impact on our metabolic systems, leading to issues such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and even depression. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and sitting for long periods of time decreases our overall longevity. Companies like Healthy Desks have actually sought to combat this with their new standing desks with a height adjustable option.
But the question remains: how can you stay fit at the office, without actually having to step out and visit a gym during your lunch break? Below are five tips that will help you get active — even if you have no extra time.
1. Walk as Often as Possible
Try to spend as much time walking as you can, during your lunch break, and any other breaks that you might get throughout the day. If you generally drive to work, park a little further away, or take the stairs rather than elevators and escalators. If you work in a particularly high building, you could take the elevator a couple of flights, then walk the rest of the way.
2. Move Around When You Can
Take steps to break out against the habit of a sedentary lifestyle every couple of hours. This means that you should stand up every time you notice that you’ve been sitting for too long. What’s more, rather than phoning a coworker in the next office to pass along the messages you have for him or her, walk there in person.
There’s also a lot of great apps that will remind you to get up and walk around — Time Out is a favorite.
3. Make Sure You Eat Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is never a prudent or wise idea, because your metabolism automatically slows down when you’re sleeping, and speeds back up when you eat after waking. A study into obesity discovered that skipping breakfast can also enhance your desire to eat fatty foods during lunchtimes. If you’re feeling rushed, just keep a box of cereal, some granola bars, or breakfast snacks at work.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Countless studies have proven that drinking enough water every day can help to promote weight loss and lead to a healthier lifestyle over all. If that’s not enough, water is also spectacular and necessary for your skin. Getting up to refill your water bottle is also another great way to stay moving throughout the day. Make sure your office is equipped with a quality office water dispenser so that cold, fresh water is always available.
5. Exercise at Your Desk
If you don’t have time to go to the gym everyday―and most people don’t lately, try having miniature workouts at your desk. Isometrics are a judicious way to soak up some extra workout time in while you earn your daily bread. For a sneaky workout, squeeze the muscles of your core as tightly as possible for a minute while typing at the computer, then release. Try to get as many of these reps into your schedule as possible throughout the day. You will start to see the benefits of a non-sedentary lifestyle quicker than you might expect.
You might also want to invest in a small stepper. They take up very little room and it’s a great way to get moving while watching your favorite show at home.
*This post was contributed by Michele Wright // featured image via Popsugar.