We spend, on average, almost nine hours a day sat down – and that’s not taking into account the eight hours we spend lying down whilst sleeping – and this lack of activity has been linked to health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
You might think that you don’t spend that long sitting down each day, but when you break your day down, it’s easy to see how easy it is to fall into the habit. Most of us work in an office from 9 to 5 and sit at a homcom computer desk for five days of the week, as well as commuting which can take up a substantial amount of time in your day (especially in major cities), and not forgetting the hours you spend binge-watching Netflix as soon as you get home. Unfortunately, it’s making many of us heavier and sicker.
As a result, it is vital to stay fit whenever you can if you have a busy work schedule. Here are 6 ways to ensure you stay fit and healthy when working in a full-time office job:
· Walk as much as possible
Walking is an easy way to keep active, so it’s best to fit it in wherever you can. If you drive to work, it is worth parking further away to get the steps on your FitBit up. Alternatively, the same goes for people who travel on the bus or train – get off a stop of two earlier and take a stroll into work
If you work in a high-rise building, split taking the lift and walking up the stairs to ensure you are getting some physical activity. Also consider going on lunch-time walks with some of your colleagues as a way of making exercise a way of socialising.
· Move around
Sitting down can have a severe negative impact on overall health and wellbeing as humans are simply not designed to be sitting down – especially not for long periods of time. To avoid being sat for hours on end, it is sensible to set a timer on your computer to remind you to get up and move around every hour to two hours; make it into a routine and your body will thank you for it.
It is vital to make small changes to your lifestyle, such as walking to a colleague rather than phoning them. Some businesses are even considering introducing ‘walking meetings’ to combat this.
· Workout at your desk
If you don’t have a chance to get up and about when at work, make time! There are many simple workouts that you can do whilst sitting at your desk, without drawing attention to yourself and needing gym equipment.
For example, a good workout for your abs is to squeeze the muscles in your core tightly for one minute, and then releasing – you can do as many of these as you wish whilst working. Alternatively, an under-desk cycle is another smart option, that doesn’t take up much room or bite into your bank account.
· Avoid skipping breakfast
As most of us know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Thus, skipping breakfast is a ‘no-no’. Your metabolism slows down when you sleep, so it’s sensible to eat within a few hours after you wake up, to help boost your metabolism for the whole day and avoid snacking on fatty foods later in the day.
· Don’t snack
A recently-conducted study found that women eat 100,000 calories worth of office snacks at their desks a year and indulge in at least three snacks during a typical working day, totalling almost 500 calories in an average 9 to 5 job.
It is advised to stay clear of typically ‘unhealthy’ snacks, such as crisps and chocolate, and if you are feeling peckish, opt for healthier options such as fruit. However, avoid dry fruit as they can be unhealthy and full of sugar.
· Drink water – and lots of it!
Numerous studies have shown that drinking around 8 to 10 glasses of water throughout the day can be highly beneficial to your body, and also encourages weight loss. If water isn’t your cup of tea, consider buying a water diffuser where you can add fruit to make your very own flavoured water – without the added sugar and additives.