Staying fit is no easy task—especially when you have a 9 to 5 desk job. Any job that has you sitting at a computer for most of the day is not going to do you any favors when it comes to helping you with your fitness goals.
That said, there are a few things you can do to keep up with your fitness at work. Whether you’re an employee who’s working to get healthier, or a member of the HR team who is trying to help with staff health and morale, here are some tips that can help keep up a healthy lifestyle at work.
Try a standing desk.
Part of the problem with most desk jobs is that they’re, well, at a desk. That usually means sitting (or more often, slouching) for hours on end, which is not good for your health. In fact, excessive sitting increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Standing, on the other hand, burns more calories, can help with back pain, and increase mood in the workplace. It can also help with energy and productivity—things everyone could use more of.
Standing desks are becoming more popular (for obvious reasons), so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an option for your office. There are even desks that will convert from sitting to standing desks, so employees can alternate as needed. Consider adding an anti-fatigue mat to your standing desk setup as well.
If you want to kick this up a notch, you could even try a treadmill desk!
Keep healthy snacks on hand.
Snacking at work can easily turn into a fat/sugar/carb-heavy feast. This is largely because unhealthy, processed snacks are cheaper to buy and easier to store. However, your health is certainly going to suffer if you’re only eating chips, cookies, and crackers all day long.
Make a shift toward keeping healthier snacks in the office. Fresh fruit is always a great option, as are dried fruit, healthy nuts, popcorn, and jerky. Keep plenty of water bottles stocked, too!
Snacks with more nutrients are going to encourage you to eat less, help you maintain your energy levels, and generally help you stay on track toward your health and fitness goals.
Sit on a balance ball.
While this was more of a trend a few years ago, the fact remains that a balance ball is a great way to be a little more fitness-minded at work. Sitting on a balance ball forces you to engage your core muscles and provide lower back support.
Make sure the balance ball is fully inflated and placed directly on the ground. To up the fitness level of this option, you can move slightly from side to side while sitting on the ball.
Take regular breaks.
Regular breaks are not only good for your productivity (yes, they really are!), but they can also benefit your fitness as well. A regular break gives you a chance to stretch, relax your hand muscles, and rest your eyes from screens. It’s also a chance to check in—are you dehydrated or hungry? Are you in a good mental state? Do you need to take a quick walk to reset? Regular breaks give you the chance to step back and notice how you’re feeling and how it’s affecting your day and performance at work.
Take the stairs.
Work on an upper level of an office building? Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. That little bit of exercise can get your heart rate going and give you a little boost of endorphins.
Change your commute.
If you live within walking or biking distance of work, try doing that instead of driving. It’ll get you off to a healthy start every day!
Implement a company fitness plan.
Some companies choose to offer gym memberships or other health-related perks to employees as a benefit. This can end up being good not only for individuals, but for the whole team, as people in good physical health are likely to be more productive and happy at work.
Staying fit while working a desk job might sound impossible, but there are really simple changes you can make to your routine or office environment that will help you do just that.
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