Working at a desk day in and day out can play havoc with your weight loss and fitness goals, but there are many ways that you can fit healthy eating and physical activity into your typical workday. Try putting these 10 weight loss tips for the office into practice in your busy day and watch your health and fitness goals get closer every day.
Take the Stairs
Climbing stairs is a healthy aerobic activity that’s good for your heart and your waistline. When you factor in the time you spend waiting for the elevator to arrive, you’ll find that it’s often quicker to take the stairs, so you may even end up saving some time. Even if you work 24 stories up, you can still take advantage of the stairs to help your health – just get off the elevator one or two floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.
Have a Midmorning Snack
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a mid-morning snack can reduce the number of calories you consume over the course of a day. Of course, it all depends on what you choose to snack on. Keep healthy, single-portion size snacks in your desk drawer or in the employee break room so you’re not tempted by candy bars and salty snacks.
Work Standing Up
If you can prevail upon your boss to supply you with an adjustable-height desk, you’ll realize many surprising benefits for your health and fitness. People weren’t meant to sit for hours at a time, and our bodies suffer from it in many ways. Adjustable desks put your work at the right height whether you’re standing or sitting. When you work standing up, you burn more calories and help keep your muscles toned.
Get Out for Lunch
Even if you bring your own lunch, try to take a lunch break away from your desk. Walk to a nearby park or even to the employee lounge down the hall to break the monotony and to get your metabolism working. When you actually take a break from work to eat, your meal will be more satisfying and you’re less likely to feel hungry later in the day.
Replace Your Chair with a Balance Ball
If an adjustable height desk isn’t an option, consider sitting on a ball while working. Stability balls encourage you to sit up straight and force you to make constant minor adjustments in position to account for shifts in balance. A study showed that you actually only use 4 calories more per hour, but there are many other benefits to consider – such as the tendency to bounce or rock on the ball while working. If you need the appearance of sitting in a chair, there are now chairs that are designed to use stability balls as seats.
Get Up and Walk Around
One of the most harmful parts of working in an office is the tendency to sit for hours at a time. This leads to poor circulation, especially in your lower legs and feet. To combat this, get up at least once an hour and walk around for a minute. Walk down the hall. Walk to the rest room. Walk to the file cabinets and back. If nothing else, stand up next to your desk and stretch, walk around your office and do one or two squats before sitting again.
Volunteer to Do the Office Coffee Run
Making the office coffee or lunch run gets you out of the office and gives you an excuse to get in a 10-minute walk. The fresh air and physical activity will rev up your metabolism again. Just watch out for those coffeehouse treats. Choose water, fruit juice or plain coffee for yourself.
Replace Your Soda with Water
Many office workers keep a can of soda close for sipping as they work. Sodas are empty calories – lots and lots of them – and diet sodas aren’t much better. In fact, many studies suggest that diet soda may be even worse for your waistline than sugary drinks. Beat the sugar by replacing your soda with water. Keep bottled water in the office refrigerator, or fill a pitcher with water, add sliced lemon and stow it in the fridge to refill your glass over the course of the day. It will keep you hydrated and eliminate hundreds of calories from your intake daily.
Have a Midafternoon Snack
A midafternoon snack will stave off late-afternoon doldrums – and hunger pangs. Choose a snack with protein and some healthy fat, like a handful of almonds or filberts, to power you through the rest of the afternoon. Avoid sugary snacks with empty calories that might give you a quick boost, but can leave you craving more sweets to keep up your energy high.
Stand on the Train
If you commute to and from work by commuter rail or bus, burn a few extra calories by standing for at least part of the commute. Standing on a moving vehicle requires you to move with it, changing your position to maintain your balance and stability. It may not seem like much, but remember, every little bit helps.
Working in an office doesn’t mean you have to be inactive and sedentary. Incorporate just a few of these diet and fitness tips for the office into your daily routine, and you’ll find yourself losing weight and feeling great with almost no effort at all.