Leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle is challenging but it can be even harder when you work behind a desk. You sit for a long period of time in front of a computer, drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day and eat snacks in between your breaks. It is hard, we all do it, and this is why we have couple of ideas for you to stay healthy whilst working in the office.
It is important to stretch while you are at work – no jokes! Recent study by Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that prolonged seating can increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hemorrhoids and back pain even among the people who exercise regularly. Therefore, you need to take every opportunity to stretch your body; Short trip to a printer? Great! Take this opportunity to stretch your back, shoulders and massage your neck. Did you know you can stretch while you are sitting at your desk? Stretch your neck by moving your neck left to right. You can also give your eyes a rest by looking away from your screen and focusing your eyes on distant objects.
Most of us think you need caffeine to pull you through the day, but it can actually have the opposite effect; high caffeine intake can cause headaches and anxiousness. If you have several cups of coffee per day you should consider limiting yourself to just one or even better – how about you try and look for different sources of energy? A study in the UK has showed that people who chew gum for 15 minutes are more alert than the ones who do not. Why don’t you buy a pack? According to Dr Teitelbaum another great replacement for caffeine are carbs in the form of whole grains; they are slowly absorbed and give you a longer lasting boost of energy – more about these below.
Try and bring a packed lunch from home – it is extremely tempting to grab a take away or meal deal from a local shop, but often people do not realise how much fat, calories, sugar and sodium is packed in those meals! With this, plus the prolonged seating, it can lead to serious weight gain and high cholesterol. A balanced diet is important to maintain good health; make sure your lunch includes carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown pasta or brown rice and a lean source of protein such as chicken, turkey and fish. Protein is great but remember to go easy on the red meat which is great in terms of nutrition but too much can increase the chance of type 2 diabetes and hardens your blood vessels. Make sure you compliment that meal with green vegetable, they are rich with vitamins that will improve your skin and well being, as well as reduce your blood pressure.
Take a break
There can be times at the office when stress takes over, there could be a deadline approaching, difficult clients or simply just one of those days – we’ve all been there! But, stress should not be taken lightly as it can increase strain on your heart, blood pressure and lower your immune system. When you think work is getting overwhelming, take a step back, breath, hydrate and take a moment to clear your head. During your break make sure you go outside to get some fresh air, visit a park if there is one near or go to a quiet area when you can have some time to yourself.
Leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle is challenging but hopefully now you have learnt a couple of things that you can do to improve your lifestyle at the office. Be healthy and exercise regularly! Get to grips with the stretching and the clean diet and we promise it will benefit you in the long run.