Life is going by plan. You graduate from university and get a corporate job in your field.
Or you’ve been on an employment gap for whatever life reason and land a new job.
The new job has long working hours but you don’t mind because here you are employed and you don’t dare complain.
The long hours play havoc with your otherwise young body. You start feeling aches and pains in places you’ve never felt before.
If you were already active before starting your corporate job, then you are bound to be experiencing these effects the most. It’s by far the most challenging side effect of any sedentary job – the pains that come with it and the general decline in the feeling fit department.
In the scenario you already have had a fitness plan in place, your only challenge now is to find the time to still commit to it despite work and family obligations.
In the case of you not being a sporty person, your main challenge now is to find the motivation to start a fitness plan to keep you active and healthy despite the sedentary working environment you’d chosen to spend the majority of your week in.
Regardless of your fitness state, here you find yourself at your office job. What can you do today to stop feeling so tired and dare I say it, old?
Here are 10 tips to stay fit and healthy in a sedentary office environment.
- Watch that posture
This is of utmost importance. Your slouchy posture is where all your problems are coming from. It’s so difficult to do but by all means sit up straight. Never slouch. I have a little trick to help me with that. I set up email reminders every 30 minutes to ask myself if I’m slouching. When you get that reminder, you imagine become aware you were indeed slouching and correct that posture. What was it about a new habit taking up to 40 days? Keep at it and you shall never slouch again. Your neck and spine will thank you for it.
- Get up often
When sitting for long periods of time, it helps greatly when getting up from your chair often. A phone call comes in? Get up and speak. Not only does it help your voice sound a lot more assertive but standing up speeds your metabolism.
- Use your office water cooler regularly
Drink from a small glass that would need refilling often. Walk to the water cooler at regular intervals to fill it up. I used to make the mistake of filling up a big bottle of water and keeping it at my desk to refill my glass but that just meant sitting for longer periods of time. Use any excuse to get up and walk.
- Go for short walks
Any company grants you some break time. Use that time to walk around the block or go to the nearby shop. Every time you go for a short walk lifts you up physically and mentally. It’s great for your productivity levels and your physical state.
- Take the stairs
You’ve probably heard that so many times. Taking the stairs even once a day is a great booty booster. And you work out you calves. Wearing heels? Even better. You add some extra pressure to your workout. Excusing yourself by not having time to do so? You will not have time once but what about the next time? If walking up the stairs is good for you, imagine what running up the stairs would do for your metabolism. No excuses.
- Drink a lot of water
This is great in two main ways. Staying hydrated is essential for your being but the more you drink, the more times you get up and go to the loo, right? Remember, every time you get up and walk somewhere your idle metabolic rate gets a boost.
- Stay off the office temptations
This is the one example of when getting up to get something is not that beneficial to your being. The best tip is to not even look at that box of sweets your kind, loving colleague has just left in the kitchen. Best is to skip right through it. Be like Johnny. Keep on walking.
- Watch that posture
There are a few stretches you can do even when working a sedentary job. Moving your head from side to side and looking over your shoulder is great for your neck. Roll your arms back and forth a few times when you get up. Getting funny looks? Do the stretches at the office toilets.
- Use your lunch break to fit in some exercise
Your office has a gym? Or there is a gym nearby? Lucky you! Try and use some of your much precious lunch break time to fit in as little as 15 minutes of some activity. You only need a 5-minute shower afterwards and you’ll be in and out in 20, leaving you plenty of time to savour your healthy lunch. All the while feeling good about yourself.
- Deliver all news in person
Whenever you have news to tell your colleague or a request from them that you need an explanation for, don’t email. Walk to their floor/ desk and deliver all you have for them in person. This is like the saying: two birds with one stone. Not only will your career benefit from the personal interactions but also your physical state. Now, of course, you might be perceived as that annoying colleague who has no respect for personal space but would you really let such a minor problem stand in the way of you being your fit and healthy self? We didn’t think so, either.
No excuses, today is a new office day.
In my case, I’ve had a corporate job for longer than I’d like to admit. There are some days where the strain of sitting down all day long is too much to handle. Practising these tips and combining them with a morning workout have kept me sane at the workplace.
I’m always that annoying positive co-worker and I have exercise to thank for it. No excuses, today is a new office day.
What are some of your tips to stay fit and healthy at the workplace?