15 Ways to Stay Healthy With a Desk Job

Many of us spend our days dwelling at a desk. We go home with slouched shoulders and tight hips, in an unenergetic fog that gives us no motivation to move in the evening, so we slump down on our couch and do it all again the next day. We have turned our glutes into a permanent cushion for sitting down.

Lack of movement throughout the day can be one of the most detrimental factors in our overall health. Many people think that getting in their 60 minute morning workout will keep them in good health for the rest of the day, but it is also important to keep your body moving throughout the day. We aren’t recommending you quit your job and go into hard labor where your 8 hour work day becomes an 8 hour workout, but we want to give you some tips on how to make the most of your desk dwelling time!

1. Watch the coffee refills

A little bit of morning joe will most likely not deteriorate your health, but be careful of the vicious cycle created by coffee addiction, lack of sleep, and the ever-full percolator in your office break room.

2. Drink lots of water

Being properly hydrated will do wonders for your health, decrease hunger pangs, keep your brain alert, and force you to get more steps in by getting up to go to the bathroom.

3. Go to the bathroom on a different floor

Since you’ll be drinking so much water you will have many lovely opportunities to get extra steps in by going to the bathroom on a different floor. This is the perfect chance to say hello to a coworker as well!

4. Have a walking meeting

Take your meeting beyond the four walls of a conference room and get your creative juices flowing with a nice stroll to chat about your next project.

5. Pack your snacks

Come prepared for when mid-day hunger strikes. Keep your snacks high in protein and healthy fats for a steady energy that will keep you productive all day!

6. Dodge the office candy bowl

If you do the aforementioned this will be a much easier task. Here’s a little office candy math for you: If you were to take a chocolate kiss from the candy bowl (2.6g sugar) every day (52 weeks x 5 days = 260) you would be consuming 676g of sugar per year. That is practically 1.5 pounds of additional sugar per year. Just from grabbing an innocent little chocolate kiss.

7. Pack a balanced lunch

Proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates will give your body the proper fuel to think properly at work and to have the energy for your post-work activities, whether that be a walk with the pup, or a weightlifting session at Life Time.

8. Take a lunch walk

Eat your lunch at your desk and take your lunch break to get in some steps and soak up some sunshine. The vitamin D and movement will help keep you focused in the afternoon.

9. Get enough sleep the night before

Depriving your body of sleep is a surefire way to mess with your metabolism, health, and mental capability. Get a good 7–8 hours so you are ready to conquer the day.

10. Don’t rely on email

Who likes having an overflowing inbox? None of us. Aid in the effort to keep our email inboxes at a minimum and get in some more steps by walking over to a coworker’s office to ask a question or give a project update.

11. Find fit friends

Replace the office happy hour with a team group fitness class. Seek out the other people in the office who are active and invite them to go for a run after work or guest pass them to Life Time! Key indicators of “active people” are coworkers with race bibs pinned up in their cube, inspirational fitness quotes on post-its stuck to their computer, perfectly balanced lunches, and the ability to make active wear look office appropriate on a Friday.

12. Get a fitness tracker

Tracking your steps and sleep with a fitness tracker can be a huge eye-opener for many people. Many of us don’t realize how few steps we take in the average day. Aim for 10k steps a day to support a healthy lifestyle — this will take a conscious effort to hit your step goal.

13. Start a step challenge

Encourage your coworkers to get fitness trackers as well and start a step challenge to see who can stick to 10k steps a day for the longest string of days in a row.

14. Get a standing desk

Being on your feet throughout the day can improve your posture and aid you in hitting that 10k steps-per-day goal. Just make sure you are wearing proper footwear. Ladies, that means no stilettos.

15. Sit on a stability ball

Activate your core muscles and keep your body awake by sitting on a stability ball. When your back feels tight (and the hallway is clear) roll back on the ball to relax your vertebrae. You can also sneak in a couple crunches to sculpt your core during the workday!

— 
Reed Mosimann

Fitness Professional for Life Time (NASM, ACE)

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