Why It’s Important To Keep Fit With An Office Job

In this day and age, we do a lot of sitting. We sit at the table or on the couch to drink our coffee in the morning. We sit in the car to drive to work. We sit at our desk all day at work, only to come home and plop on the couch. That much sitting isn’t good for bodies that were designed to spend most of their time walking around to hunt and gather. It’s no surprise then that we now face a slew of health issues caused at least in part by our sedentary lifestyle.

Exercise Will Help Prevent Back and Neck Issues 

Sitting hunched over your desk typing way for hours on end can cause all sorts of back and neck issues. Taking the time to move more, stand up, and stretch frequently, and taking a brisk walk at lunchtime can do a lot to balance that out. If you’re starting to notice some issues from sitting too much or simply want to be proactive, it’s a good idea to make an effort to move more on a daily basis. Wear a pedometer, or set yourself a timer to remind you to get up every 30 minutes, and stretch or walk around. Small changes and simple exercises you can do right at your desk can make a big difference in how you feel.

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Moving More and Keeping Your Weight In Check Prevents Chronic Illnesses I don’t have to tell you that being overweight and out of shape is bad for your health. They bring with it an increased risk for a wide range of chronic illnesses from heart disease and stroke to hip and knee trouble to name a few. Prevent them or at least reduce your risk greatly by getting in shape and keeping your weight under control.

Exercise and Good Nutrition Strengthens Your Immune System 

Eating a healthy diet and working out regularly not only prevent major health issues as discussed above, they keep your body in better overall shape. They also ensure that your immune system is up to the job of fighting off colds, flu, and other “minor” infections. That means you’ll stay healthier throughout the year and that means fewer sick days.

Walking And Fresh Air Clear Your Head And Increase Productivity 

Last but not least, there’s nothing better than getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine for a brisk walk to clear your head. When you’re spending a little time throughout your workday taking care of your body and mind, it will reward you with increased focus and productivity. That means that even though you’re taking time for non-work related tasks, you actually end up getting more work done throughout the day.

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Simple Desk Exercises To Ease Tension

One of the biggest problems working at a desk all day brings is the neck, shoulder, and back pain caused by it. When we spend a lot of time hunched over our desk, furiously typing away for hours at a time, it’s no wonder that our muscles cramp up and we start to ache. Thankfully there are a lot of preventative things we can do throughout the work day to keep this from happening. Here are some simple ways to ease the tension in your neck and shoulders.

One of the best things you can do is to simply take frequent breaks. Get up from your desk and walk over to get a glass of water, make a cup of coffee, or go to the restroom. The simple act of standing up and walking around frequently will do a lot to help you stay relaxed and feeling good. When you feel your shoulders starting to tense up, you can even do some simple exercises while sitting in your office chair. Start by sitting up straight in your chair and do some shoulder lifts to warm up and loosen up your shoulders, upper back, and neck. Bring your shoulders up to your ears and drop them back down.

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Rolling your shoulders both forwards and backward is another great exercise that will gently stretch those bunched up muscles. When you’re done with that, try squeezing your shoulder blades together in the back. This is a great exercise to offset some of the forward hunching you do while working on your laptop. Last but not least do some spine twists to ease the tension in your lower back.

Reminding yourself to do a few simple exercises like this throughout the day will help you stay in shape and more importantly pain-free. When you get up from your desk, you can do even more. Do some gentle stretching, move your arms, and shake them out. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to work out the kinks. The key is to do these exercises frequently and regularly. It won’t take more than a few seconds at a time. Don’t wait until you’re in a lot of pain and ready for a trip to the chiropractor. Be proactive and take care of your body by moving more and doing simple stretches and exercises at your desk. Your body will thank you.

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Should You Get A Standing Desk?

We’ve all seen the alarming headlines in health news publications and social media. Sitting is the new smoking and it has all sorts of detrimental impacts on our overall health. As someone that spends a good eight to ten hours a day sitting in front of your desk, you may be wondering if it’s time to get a standing desk. I wish I had a clear answer for you, but frankly, it depends.

It depends on the work you do. For example, if you do a lot of writing while sitting at your desk, the words may simply not flow the same when you’re standing up. If on the other hand, much of your day, or at least part of your workday is spent reading and responding to email or looking over reports, a standing desk may work well for you.

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Before you head out and buy an expensive new desk, give it a try. Grab some boxes, big books, or head to the garage and build a little shelf-like contraption that you can put on top of your existing desk. Try working standing up for a couple of days and see how you like it. If it works well for you, then you can invest in an actual standing desk.

Here’s an interesting idea. You don’t have to work exclusively from a standing desk to benefit from it. Why not try spending part of your workday standing up when the tasks lend themselves to this style of working and sit down the rest of the time. You can either add a shelf or boxes to your desk as outlined earlier or have a second desk that’s set up for working while standing up. Look around your office. You may already have a file cabinet that’s just the right height. If you’re working from a laptop, it’s easy to switch back and forth throughout the day as needed.

If you’re enjoining the standing desk, or are ready to try something else and move even more, you may want to look into a treadmill or stationary bike desks. You can work away while taking a slow stroll on your treadmill, or while riding a bike. A quick search online will show you some great examples of these active movement desks. If you’re on a budget, rig up a shelf on your existing treadmill, or buy a fairly inexpensive pedal attachment for your office chair that allows you to pedal away while you work.

If nothing else I want you to realize that sitting at a desk isn’t the only possible way to get work done. Experiment, try some new desk habits and see what works well for you.

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Keep Healthy Snacks In Your Desk To Not Eat Junk

We all have days when we have to run out the door without breakfast, end up working through lunch or have to stay at the office much later than anticipated. Missing important meals like breakfast lunch or dinner has us heading to the office vending machine or hitting the fast food drive-through to grab some junk food. We know this food isn’t good for us and won’t help us to stay fit and healthy. But what choice do we have?

Actually, we have a choice. We can choose to be prepared for these meal emergencies with a small stockpile of healthy snacks. You can keep all sorts of healthy snacks in your desk from nuts and seeds to energy bars and even fresh fruits and veggies. All it takes is a little bit of preparation and planning.

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Come up with a few non-perishable, but healthy snacks and drinks that you can keep in your desk at all time. This could include nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and even a few special treats like a bar of dark chocolate. All natural energy bars are a great choice on days when you have to skip a meal. Herbal and black teas along with bottled water are nice to have around for a healthy drink that feels more like a treat.

If you know you’ll need a snack, pack it with your lunch in the morning. A few fresh veggies and a bit of hummus, or a fresh fruit like an apple or a banana make for healthy snacking. A bit of cheese or a hard-boiled egg are other good options that are packed with protein and will keep you full until your next meal. Keep it simple, stick to real food as much as possible, and choose things that are easy to grab and go. Come up with a short list of easy to prepare snacks that you enjoy and stay stocked up on them. If you keep it simple, it won’t take you more than a minute or two to prepare and pack your snack in the morning.

Of course, missing lunch or long meetings in the evening aren’t the only times you’ll be tempted by junk food. Your healthy food emergency stash will also come in handy when you’re feeling tired and stressed and just need a little snack, or when the box of cookies or pizza in the break room is calling your name. Trust me, it’s much easier to resist the temptation when you’re munching on a tasty, healthy snack.

 

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How Moving More And Sitting Less Can Increase Your Productivity

Have you ever been hunched over your desk, glued to your chair for hours on end trying to finish a project on time? When we’re working hard, or facing a tight deadline, our instinct is to put as much time as possible in, working fast and furious. And it works, for a while…

Then it starts to catch up with you. Your mind is tired, the work doesn’t flow the way it did in the beginning. This is when you have a choice to make. You can walk away for a bit, clear your head and come back refreshed and ready to get back to work. Or you can tough it out and keep plugging away. You may be surprised to learn that walking away, going for a walk, and just moving around will help you work faster and better when you sit back down at your desk.

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And this isn’t just true during crunch time. Moving more and spending less time sitting at your desk can help your productivity throughout your work week. Anytime you take a break to do a few stretches and exercises, go for a stroll through the building, or even leave for a quick walk outside, you come back refreshed and with more focus. Additionally, “losing” time that you spent moving around forces you to focus and get things done. Work has a tendency to expand to whatever amount of time you give it. By taking away some of that time, and using it to workout and move more, you’re simply making yourself work more efficiently when you do sit at your desk. In other words, it can be in your best interest to spend less time in your office chair.

Give it a try the next time you’re stuck on a task, or the work simply doesn’t flow as it should. Get up and move around. Go for a walk and clear your head. Get your body moving and blood pumping through your body including your brain. Then come back to your work task. You’ll notice that suddenly the work goes much smoother and you have no trouble getting into the flow. You’re able to focus and concentrate much better and your productivity soars. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the exercise as mentioned increases blood flow and more oxygen is transported to the brain. More importantly, though, during the time you spent moving around, your brain didn’t really stop working on the task you set it. Your subconscious and possibly also your conscious mind where working things out, allowing you to sit down and take care of business upon your return.

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Good Diet and Exercise Work Hand In Hand

Good Diet and Exercise Work Hand In Hand To Keep You Healthy At The Office And Beyond

Let’s talk about diet and exercise and how they work together. To clarify, by diet I mean the food you eat, not necessarily eating a low calorie or restricted diet. To make sure you stay fit and healthy, both at work and in your life in general, you have to get at least some exercise and eat a fairly healthy diet. Let’s look at why it is so important to take care of both and how they complement each other.

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If you’re wanting or needing to lose a bit of weight, you’ll see the quickest and best results by combining exercise and eating a healthier diet lower in calories. Not only will the exercise help you burn more calories and thus burn more body fat, compared to cutting calories alone, it has other benefits. Endorphin and other “feel good” chemicals released by your body when you workout will help you stay in a good mood and motivated to work on losing weight. They can even suppress your appetite at times, making it easier to eat less. Additionally working out will help you tone and strengthen your body. That helps burn more calories overall as you increase muscle mass and tones and tightens as you start to lose those extra pounds.

If you’re an athlete, you know how important it is to fuel your body with the right types of foods. A healthy diet can help you perform better, not just during your workouts, but also during your regular work day. If you’re having trouble focusing and staying productive, try cleaning up your diet and going for a daily walk. You’ll see some results quickly when you start to feed your body with the nutrients it needs.

Interestingly as you start to work out and work on getting fitter, both in the office and at the gym after work, you’ll get more interested in the proper diet to fuel your workouts and keep you on top of your game. This works both physically and mentally. On the flip side, eating healthy gives you the energy to go out and move more. Maybe it’s being motivated to go for a quick walk after eating a fresh salad for lunch instead of feeling like an afternoon nap at your desk after a heavy lunch. Maybe it’s feeling energized and walking over to talk to a co-worker instead of emailing after a healthy breakfast. Or maybe it’s finding the willpower to hit the gym after work thanks in part to a healthy pick me up snack instead of heading home to cook dinner.

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