Putting in long hours at the office is not just taxing mentally, but physically as well. Most desk jobs require sitting for prolonged periods of time which can put tremendous strain on our back and spine as we hunch over our desks or sit in chairs that aren’t designed to support our posture. Working from home solves some of these issues but also has its own drawbacks. You might be more inclined to take breaks, take walks outside or hit the gym after work. But you’re also prone to distraction, procrastination and isolation—all things that make staying healthy even harder than it already is. If you work from home or have a desk job with few opportunities for exercise, here are some useful ways to stay fit and healthy without breaking your back:
Exercise for 20 minutes before work
As many as 70% of employees don’t exercise during their lunch break or after work. Investing a few minutes of your morning commute or free time before work can help you feel better throughout the day and improve your posture. Be creative and think of any place you can squeeze in a short workout. Carry your gym clothes and sneakers with you if you can. You might even consider working out at your office. Believe it or not, more and more companies are encouraging their employees to get fit and stay healthy by providing exercise facilities, fitness coaches and group fitness classes during lunch breaks. If you don’t have access to an onsite gym, you can always go for a brisk walk around your neighborhood or at a nearby park. You’ll also be able to decompress and think through any challenges or tasks you’re facing at work.
Take walking meetings
Studies have shown that walking meetings are a great way to improve your health and productivity. A walking meeting is typically half the time of a regular meeting, so you’ll have more time to get more done. This will get your heart rate up and offer a chance to de-stress. Walking meetings are also great for building camaraderie and will help you bond with colleagues. You might have to convince your boss to try this, but it’s worth it. You can suggest walking meetings for one-on-one catch-ups, meetings with clients and group meetings. Closing the door to your meeting room will signal to your colleagues that the meeting is not meant to be interrupted. This will help you focus and stay mindful of how much time you’re investing in each meeting.
Sit on an exercise ball
If you work from a desk or at home, try sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will help you strengthen your core and back muscles and improve your posture. Exercise balls are designed to provide support while still allowing you to move freely and without pain. Most are designed to help your hips and spine stay aligned and in their natural positions. They also help prevent you from hunching over as you work. Exercise balls are great for all types of workers, including those who spend long hours in front of the computer. Using an exercise ball will help improve your posture, reduce back pain and make you feel more energized and focused. What’s more, sitting on an exercise ball will help divert your attention from your pain and enable you to concentrate better on work. The best exercise ball for the job is one that you can easily find online. It’s important to find a ball that’s designed for sitting on, so make sure to read the reviews and choose one that’s right for you.
Bring protein snacks to work
Eating healthy is one of the best ways to stay healthy and fit, but it’s often hard to find the time to shop for fresh and nutritious food or find time to prepare a healthy meal after work. Try bringing protein snacks to work such as nuts, granola bars, energy bars or protein bars. These are great sources of protein that will help you stay focused and alert during the day. They’ll also help curb cravings for unhealthy snacks that can wreak havoc on your health. Eating more protein is also a great way to lose weight since it’s an appetite suppressant and helps you feel full longer.
Go for walks during your lunch break
Most people don’t work out for the recommended 30 minutes a day and don’t even come close to fitting in at least 10,000 steps every day. While you might not be able to make it to the gym every day, taking a walk during your lunch break is a great way to stay fit, relieve stress, focus on your work and get some sunshine. You can also walk with your colleagues or join a walking club. This will help you build camaraderie and get to know your colleagues in a whole new way.
Stretch in your office’s designated break room
If you have time, try doing a few stretches in break room. This will help your muscles relax and will also help you focus and concentrate better throughout the day. If your company has a designated break room, you can also decorate it with yoga mats, resistance bands and inspirational quotes to encourage your colleagues to take breaks and stay fit and healthy. This will also help you make new friends and connect with your colleagues in a new and meaningful way.
Working from home or having a desk job can be taxing on your body, especially if you’re not very active. Try incorporating some of these tips to stay fit and healthy without breaking your back. Exercise for 20 minutes before work and sit on an exercise ball. Take walking meetings, bring protein snacks to work and go for walks during your lunch break. Stretch in your office’s break room and do some yoga poses at your desk. Stay active, mindful and focused and you’ll be able to get more done and feel better both mentally and physically.