Most people work in an office. And while I don’t (mainly because my preferred wardrobe of choice includes sweats, all the time ) I figured, why not tackle health and fitness in the workplace? According to studies, between working through a never-ending to-do list, eating lunch, and arguing with Becky from HR, the average office worker sits for about 10 hours a day—about 45 percent of the 24 hour day leaving you with 14 hours to split between sleep, eating, and playing NBA 2k. But humans were never designed to sit for such long periods and it comes with a price. Consistently sitting creates a slow increase in weight gain, circulation and posture problems, and injuries.
Yes, I know that snack machine is 30 feet away from your cubicle and you just found the 75 cents needed for a bag of chips under your desk but; let’s think smarter and healthier. Packing snacks that don’t require a fridge is our first step (because YOUR food in the work fridge is now the community food in the work fridge ) here are a few ideas for snacks that travel well:
1) Whole wheat crackers and peanut butter
2) Bananas, apples, pears
3) Instant oatmeal
4) Almonds and peanuts
5) Protein powder with shaker bottle
None of these snack options are over 200 calories and will all fit in or on your desk. By making these better choices, you’ll keep your energy high, weight management goals on track, and stay far away from the vending machine (Plus, you know the last time it was refilled was some time last year, anyway).
My goal isn’t to turn you into the office linebacker but rather to keep you fit, and help to make sure your sick days are used for anything other than actual sickness. A hard working immune system works hand in hand with a strong body. So make sure to work these stretches and strength building exercise into your routine:
Stretches (15-30 seconds each)
1) Neck – Slowly tilt your head toward your shoulder and hold for ten seconds each side, but not backwards. Keep this one slow and easy, the neck is very easy to injure.
2) Arm Shoulders – Pull your arm across your chest, hook your other arm around it to pull the tension out of your upper back and rear shoulders.
3) Back / Legs – Lean forward at the waist either from the standing position or sitting and bring your chest toward your thighs. Slowly try to straighten your legs – stretching your hamstrings.
4) Thighs – Sit on left edge of your chair or stand. Grab your left ankle and pull it upward toward your buttocks. Switch sides.
5) Calves – Stand and lean into your desk with your heels on the floor. Bend your knees slightly to stretch your Achilles tendons.
1) Legs – Squats – Stand in front of your chair and repeat sitting down and standing up for sets of 15
2) Shoulder Shrugs – Just pull your shoulders as high as you can and roll them forward ten times and backward ten times throughout the day.
3) Set a reminder in your phone to get up and walk around/ up and down the stairs every 2 hours
4) Bench Dips – Using your chair or sturdy table, place your hands on the edge of the object and bend your arms to slowly lower yourself about six inches lower than the seat. Raise yourself by straightening your arms. Repeat this three times a day for 10 repetitions.
5) Assisted Push-up – In the office, lean up against your desk and push yourself away from the desk while in a leaning position. Repeat this three times a day for 10 repetitions.
So now we have of workouts, stretches and snacks to add to your work day and at this point you have no excuse not to be as fit as possible. And on second thought, my goal is to turn you into the office linebacker. Life’s just better that way.