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Healthy Working: How To Stay Active In An Office Environment

09.29.11

Gone are the days of making house calls and running across town to meet with clients and secure business deals. Many workers spend the majority of their day staring at a screen; whether it is a computer, tablet or smartphone. Virtual offices and teleconferencing are great for the modern business; we can work together regardless of time or location, but the unintended impact of being stuck at a desk all day can start to show up in our waistline.

Going to the gym is the obvious remedy, but with work and family commitments following you from the office to your home, it is hard to find the time to work out. Thankfully, there are exercises that can be done right  in your office. Don’t worry about your coworkers that may be giving you the side eye, your heart will thank you later.

Use your chair to do pushups or ab work. Do a few while waiting for a document to download or reading a brief. Desk chairs are great for leverage and there are lots of videos online to teach the various exercises that you can try. WebMD suggests a 60 second blast of energy such as running in place, simulated jump roping or shadow boxing though, you may want to close your door for the latter.

There’s always one friendly person in an office who loves to share and leave cookies, cupcakes and carb-o-licious snacks in the break room, but avoiding the temptation and bringing your own snacks can help. Baby carrots, dried or fresh fruits, cheese or nuts are easy to pack and actually satisfy your hunger cravings. It is also important to drink lots of water throughout the day. Soda and coffee are empty and unnecessary calories, and nothing re-hydrates you like the real thing.  Sugar and caffeine highs tend to result in a crash and burn situation mere hours later. With the appropriate snacks you will feel more energized and will accomplish more while working without the distraction or temptation of unhealthy vices.

Here are a few other simple tips for what to do throughout the day to burn some extra calories:

-Take the stairs instead of the elevator

-Switch your chair for an exercise ball, great for strengthening the core

-Bring lunch from home

-Instead of emailing in-house coworkers, walk the memo over to them

-Stand while waiting, when waiting for a page to load or copies to print opt out of sitting

Less sugar, more movement. The concept is simple but challenging in practice. Being more active and adopting healthier eating habits while at the office will not only erode your waistline, but also help to erase headaches, back pain and eye strain issues.  Virtual offices and telecommuting are great for taking your productivity to the next level, but by following these tips you can make sure you aren't sacrificing your own health to get there.

Written by Trey Jones

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