I don’t do well sitting at my desk for 8 hours at a time. And I think a lot of runners agree with that sentiment. Still, there are several ways to be healthier at work beyond taking a run at lunch or eating a salad, which is not always doable or palatable, respectively.
Here are eight ideas to try around the office to be healthier.
Use a standing desk
There is now such a thing called “sitting disease.” Sitting for long periods of time, as many of us do in the modern work world, has been linked to increasing the likelihood of disability, heart disease and failure and cancer, among others. Experts say transitioning to a standing desk can help decrease the effect of sitting disease, thereby improving your health. Plus, it’s likely to make you move around more often.
Walk the nearest staircase for 5 minutes each hour
Most workers in a typical office use some sort of e-mail/calendar program combination. And most offices have stairways, even if people never use them, thanks to the more convenient elevator. Try setting a calendar reminder once each hour or two to walk the stairways for about 5 minutes. This little activity will give you a break without taking you away from your desk for too long. It will also increase your fitness and health.
Park farther away
Most folks are familiar with this one. Parking your car farther away from the office or subway entrance is a great way to add steps onto your day without really thinking about it. Taking the stairway at work instead of the elevator is another easy way to get moving.
Go on a short 10-15 minute walk
Many folks can’t afford to go on a full length run during their lunch break, but a brisk 10-15 minute walk can be doable in many professions. Take a quick stroll in your office’s neighborhood. If the weather’s bad, just walk around your office building for the same amount of time. Hit up different floors if possible,
Get up and talk to a co-worker every couple hours
Sitting in front of a computer all day is not good for anyone. If you can’t take a quick walk at lunch or climb stairs every hour or two, try at least getting up and walking over to a co-worker’s desk for a quick chat every couple hours. You can replace something you’d normally send in an e-mail with in-person communication. Or just head over to check out how your co-worker’s day is going.
Have a healthy mid-afternoon snack
It’s 3 p.m. and your energy is slumping and your tummy is growling. Instead of heading to the vending machine or reaching for a fat-loaded snack, grab something healthy to munch on. A banana, orange or apple is a great place to start. If you need a bit more, try a granola bar or protein shake.
Get lunch outside the office and walk there
Taking a break for lunch is common in many offices, so why not head outside to a nearby restaurant. Better yet, find one you can walk to. You’ll burn a few calories before and after your meal. Plus you’ll be more likely to feel refreshed afterward.
Avoid the office cookie/candy jar
Work places are notorious for their cookie and candy jars, not to mention the ongoing conveyor belt of birthday cakes that parade through. It’s certainly fine to grab a slice or piece of chocolate every now and then, but avoid making it an everyday or even weekly habit. You likely won’t remember to count those couple Snickers snack bars into your daily calorie count. Those little buggers can pack on the pounds quickly if you’re a frequent snacker.
For more from Katharine Lackey visit Kat Runs D.C.
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