Busy professionals tend to live a deskbound lifestyle. Their hectic schedules develop into easy excuses for abandoning regular exercise patterns. Consequently, their sedentary lifestyles, when combined with insufficient sleep, a disregard for healthful eating and drinking habits and the greater levels of stress in the modern workplace, can lead to fatigue and ill health over time.
Here are nine simple suggestions to encourage the busy professional lead a healthier lifestyle at work.
Practice Simple Workouts
- Consider a healthier commute. Bike or walk to work at least once a week. If you ride a bus or train, get off a prior stop and walk the remainder.
- Take stairs instead of elevators. Research suggests that climbing stairs can burn as much as seven times the calories burned when using an elevator.
- Seek out opportunities to stand or walk. Walk up to colleague’s desks instead of instant messaging, emailing, or calling them. Take longer routes to restrooms, water fountains and water systems, meetings rooms, and others’ desks.
- Take walks during breaks or after lunch. Consider starting a lunchtime walking group with like-minded coworkers. Walk for twenty minutes at a nearby park, around your office building or in the hallways. Better yet, take the stairs to walk up a few flights. Doing exercises in a group is more enjoyable and helps sustain the habit.
- Stretch at your desk. Adopt a handful of simple exercises to stretch your fingers, wrists, arms, shoulders, chest, neck, back, and legs. Although these activities do not contribute to any form of serious aerobic exercise, they are nevertheless advantageous to promote fitness and reduce anxiety.
Eat and Drink Healthier
- Eat healthy. Do not skip breakfast or lunch. Favor full-service salad bars or healthy choice menus at company cafeterias. Better yet, pack your lunch—it is economical too. Regulate your eating when dining-out with customers, visitors or management—studies suggest that we tend to overindulge in social settings or while on expense accounts.
- Keep a supply of low-calorie, nutritious snacks, raw vegetables and fruits at your desk. These serve as healthier choices to snack food usually stocked in office vending machines.
- Avoid indulging in sugar- and calorie-laden pastries, pies, cakes, cookies doled out on birthdays and anniversaries, or spread out in break rooms.
- Drink more water. Try to limit carbonated beverages and fruit juices to one can/bottle a day. Avoid caffeine in the evenings to prevent sleep deprivation at night—the half-life of caffeine is about six hours.