Healthy New Years Resolutions: 5 Office Solutions
If you remember only two things from our LinkedIn post yesterday, remember this: people who make new year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to stick to achieving their goals than non-resolvers. It may be January 3rd, but it’s not too late to make a new years resolution — the right way. No more “New Year, New Me”. It’s all about small, long-lasting changes.
At some point or another, everyone tells themselves they’re going to get healthier. Sometimes they give more specific goals like “lose weight” or “exercise more”. For whatever reason, people tend to set these large goals around new years. This is why the peak season for gyms is in January. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, there are more gym memberships purchased that month than any other. However, given that two-thirds of people who have gym memberships never use them and six months into the new year only 46% of people have kept their resolutions, it’s clear that something isn’t working. Our theory is that it’s because you’re not utilizing your time in the office and taking actionable steps to achieve your health resolutions.
If you work full time, you spend 25% of your week in the office. That’s not including any commute time. Once you factor in the time we spend grooming, eating and sleeping (sometimes), there’s really not a lot of time left to achieve your goals. It can be a little discouraging and you give up on the whole resolution in the first place. It’s time to start incorporating health changes in the workplace that encourage overall lifestyle changes — and it’s a lot simpler than it sounds.
- Sit Still Less
If you work in an office, you’re sitting — A LOT. It raises your risk of a lot of health concerns, including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Yikes. Saying you should take walks during the day is nice, but that’s not always possible when you’re slammed with work, the weather is bad, or there is nowhere to walk to.
A standing desk is one of the easiest (we’re all a little lazy) and cheapest way to combat this in the workplace. It requires little to no thinking and it’s something you could incorporate into your everyday routine which will help keep you on track to achieve your resolutions for the year.
Not everyone can have a standing desk, however. Or maybe you just don’t want to stand while you work. No judgement there. There is still a way to stop sitting passively in your cubicle. Cubii is the original compact seated elliptical trainer for active sitting. It should fit under any desk and allows you to remain moving without ever getting up. And if you don’t mind looking a little silly, an exercise ball is perfect for someone who wants to engage their core while working on spreadsheets rather than their legs. Bonus, you get to feel like you’re in an 80s workout movie — minus the leg warmers and leotards. Hopefully (that’s not very business casual of you).
2. Don’t Make Negative Resolutions
Negative health resolutions, like planned food restrictions, are really hard to stick to. Instead of thinking about all the healthy food you can eat, you’re just going to think about the giant slice of cake in the kitchen that you’re not supposed to eat. And then you’ll probably go eat it and something else too. Food restrictions, and negative health resolutions, leads to bingeing.
Instead, make positive resolutions. Instead of forbidding yourself from eating pasta, cook your lunch with veggie noodles. Instead of cutting out all sugar, bring your favorite fruit to the office. If that’s too messy and difficult for you (I’m looking at you standing room only Red Line trains), eat the fruit in a condensed, ready-to-eat form. Journey Bites are plant-derived micro-foods that are 100% fruit and functional ingredients, easy to store and bring in your work bag, and fill that sugar craving we all get sometimes.
Getting healthier isn’t about sacrifice, it’s making small adjustments that won’t make you feel irritated and deprived.
3. Eat Protein
Protein isn’t just for pre-workout meals, it’ll help you be happier at work. If you want a snack, try and have it incorporate some protein too instead of something that’s just carbs + sugar or salt. Blood sugar spikes lead to inevitable crashes, and that’s going to make you tired and sluggish. Plus, you’ll need another boost and grab another bag of chips.
Eating snacks with protein helps because of how our body handles protein. It takes longer to digest than carbs and sugar. You’ll feel fuller, which means you won’t want that bag of chips, and you won’t have the crash, so you’ll have enough energy to stand at your desk or go to the gym after work.
4. Bird and Lime to Work
Remember how I said sitting is really, really bad for you? So is environmental pollution from car exhausts. Solution? Relive your childhood and take a Bird or Lime to work. If you’re lucky and live near your workplace, hopping on one of those scooters will be fun, save the planet (a little bit), and help you activate your muscles. They’re in over a hundred cities (and some universities!) including Detroit, Paris, DC, and St. Louis.
For the record though, taking a Bird to the ankle hurts just as much as taking a razor scooter to the ankle.
5. Drink more water
I’m sure you’ve heard that sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty. Drinking more water at work is something that can prevent idle snacking as well as fighting off fatigue dehydration headaches.
Get yourself a hydroflask or a fruit infuser water bottle to keep yourself hydrated. But don’t get one that’s too big — every step to the water fountain counts (and the bathroom).
Having a new years resolution isn’t enough. You need to take action. You need to have a plan for what you’re going to do to achieve it and set yourself up for success. Add these four changes into your work routine and environment slowly. It will not only help you reach your health or fitness goals but keep you positive and motivated to do even more outside the office too.