Hi there! I guess it is kind of ironic that I’m posting this while out on maternity leave. My desk days seem like a distant memory at the moment. That being said, I’m definitely no stranger to that chained to the desk feeling you may get when working in an office environment day in and day out. Don’t get me wrong, it could be worse. You could be a nurse who is on her feet all day and that comes with its own pitfalls. But most of us tend to sit at desk chairs all day long. I probably don’t need to tell you how detrimental this can be for your health. Sitting contributes to weight problems, a sedentary lifestyle, aches and pains and just basically bad health. Since none of us will be quitting our jobs soon unless we win the lotto (in which case, please don’t forget your dear friend here!), I’ve pulled together a few tips to make your workday a bit healthier!
1. Stop and Stretch. Even spending five minutes stretching can be a huge relief for your body. I’ve actually found a great resource on MyYogaWorks. They have an entire series of 5 minute stretches you can perform at your desk to help alleviate common troubles caused by sitting at a desk such as wrist pain, eye fatigue and back soreness. I also like to stretch whenever I get up to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen. I just do a few simple things like lift my arms overhead, do some calf raises to get the blood flowing or bend over to stretch out my back.
2. Move More. This one seems so obvious yet have you ever been guilty of sitting for two hours and suddenly realizing it? I’ll raise my hand to that one! Getting up and moving more is so important when you have a desk job. I use an app on my iPhone to track my steps. You can download an app like Breeze to track your steps. The recommended amount is 10,000. Are you anywhere near that??
3. Drink Water. Not only is drinking water really good for you, it helps with two above. The more you drink, the more you need to use the restroom, the more you get up from your desk. So simple.
4. Spend Lunch Away From Your Desk. I always try to leave my desk for lunch even in the winter. Just stepping away and moving around helps get the blood flowing and energizes you. I always feel so lethargic if I don’t get away from at least a little while. Plus, this is a great chance to outside for a walk around the block or to a local park or even just to a sandwich shop.
5. Bring your own lunch. Bringing your own lunch has so many health benefits. You avoid all the unnecessary added fat, calories and sodium in those restaurant lunches. Plus, with a little planning ahead you can make sure your lunches are super healthy!
Readers, what are your tips for making your workday healthier? Do you normally buy lunch or bring lunch from home? Does your workplace support a healthy working environment?
Spending lunch away from your desk is SO IMPORTANT. When I worked in a corporate office I used to do laps around the office just to get a stretch/some movement into my day. It’s not too challenging if you just do little things throughout the day. And WATER! That’s one thing everyone has control of. Drink drink drink! And I’m with Jessica – Maternity leave is the hardest job there is!!
I definitely am mindful of doing most of these on a daily basis! Since I work from home, I sometimes move out of my home office and work standing in my kitchen. It’s nice to alternate between sitting and standing!
I completely agree with leaving your desk for lunch. It is almost mandatory for me! I love going to the gym at lunch pressing the reset button and coming back. I usually get my 10k steps in–my fitbit one keeps me on track all day!
It has been my unfortunate luck to not have had a particularly healthy orientated work environment until I went out on my own. Now it is part of the daily routine! To make your work environment healthier when you cannot leave the desk, roll your eyes and do chair pushups at your desk and other discrete deep pressure moves! Keep the core engaged!