When you're sitting at a desk all day, staying fit is probably the least of your worries. However, offices can be a source of serious health concerns—from computer-induced vision problems and sore backs, to unhealthy snacking and overall stress. On that note, health should be an absolute priority. After all, it's harder to plough through a mountain of work while sick.
Here are six ways to stay fit at work.
1. Don’t snack while working
People who eat while distracted have a bigger chance of over-eating. It takes the brain around 20 minutes to realize that you're full, so it's easy to get carried away when you're constantly shoving chips into your mouth while typing away. Registered dietitian Kim Shapira recommends taking 20 or 30-minute breaks to eat your snacks so you can fuel up in peace.
2. Take the stairs
Climbing the stairs has a lot of benefits, including healthy blood circulation, strong bones, and maybe even weight loss if you do it often. Of course, if your office is on the 70th floor, we’re not saying that you must hike all the way up. Around three to four levels should be enough exercise, so try not to take the elevator all the way.
3. Control caffeine urges
When you’re stressed, it can be tempting to reach for a comforting cup of coffee. However, tension and caffeine are an unhealthy combination. Health notes that physical stress can inhibit the body’s digestion process, which can then lead to excessive gas or bloating. Inhibited digestion, when combined with the acidity of coffee, can lead to stomach pains that will make it hard for you to focus. While a study on PLOS Biology does prove that drinking coffee is beneficial to your health, you shouldn’t be drinking it when you’re feeling anxious.
4. Always hydrate
Water is important wherever you are, but even more so when you're at work. Hydrating regularly prevents your eyes from becoming dry, regulates digestion, and boosts your immunity. Plus, an article on The Healthy reveals that water can keep your energy levels up too. If you find yourself feeling sluggish, then evaluate if you're drinking at least eight glasses of water every day.
5. Do some stretching
Sitting for an extended period can cause strain on several parts of your body, such as your spine, shoulders, and neck. Stretching every hour can help combat this. Chair pigeon poses, desk planks and seated crescents are some examples of yoga poses you can do at the office. Just remember that these poses should be done properly if you want them to be effective. In a previous post on ‘The 4 Most Important Yoga Poses for Beginners’, we discussed how the two basic rules of yoga are awareness and focus. That way, you absorb every part of your stretching routine.
6. Maintain good posture
When you're in one position for most of the day, it's highly likely that you’ll end up hunching your shoulders or leaning forward to get more comfortable. Maintaining proper posture takes real effort and discipline, but it makes it easier to breathe, thus letting you relax and concentrate better. In fact, various Eastern practices like tai-chi work on posture for a reason. At the end of the day, your job is important, but so is your health. Although these habits might seem like minor tweaks, incorporating them into your everyday routine will eventually help you become healthier, and more productive.
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