If you are sitting at your desk right now, I want you to get up and stretch up high and then touch your toes. I’ll wait.
Chances are you’ve been sitting there for a quite a while without any exercise and you needed a little break. You’ve probably been staring at your computer screen all day without even blinking, which is also not great for your overall health. Right now today I want you to start doing two things:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look away from your computer for 20 seconds to a distance of at least 20 feet. Set an alarm or put a post-it note on your monitor if you need help remembering.
- For five minutes every hour I want you to get up from your desk and go for a walk, do some yoga poses, do some squats, or at the very least stretch.
Exercising is super important. They are saying now that sitting is the new smoking, and that even doing an hour of exercise after an eight hour shift isn’t going to be enough. We are living an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and we need to turn this ship around now before it’s too late.
Only about 4% of American workers can check off all 7 healthy heart behaviors. What this means is that the longer you don’t take care of yourself the worse off you are going to be. Eventually one day when you make it to retirement you are going to be too sick and worn out to actually enjoy it. So what can you do to turn things around?
We already covered exercise, but diet is another thing that you can change today. You have a few options here, but remember you aren’t going on a diet, you are making healthy lifestyle choices. Make sure you are getting plenty of water to drink every day, and start drinking your coffee black or with virgin coconut oil instead of dairy and sugar. Add more vegetables to your diet and look for foods with healthy fats in them like nuts and avocados. You can even reap benefits all day long with a little bit of red wine and dark chocolate in the evenings. Intermittent fasting, such as alternating fasting and fed periods is a better way to lose excess weight than dieting because it doesn’t restrict what or how much you eat, only when you can eat. No matter what you do, avoid the processed junk in the office vending machine and sit out all those birthday and retirement parties full of processed sugar and refined vegetable oils.
Some jobs put you at greater risk for health problems than others, so if you are in one of the jobs with the worst average health scores you especially need to act today to turn your health around. But no matter what you do for a living or what your work day looks like, we can all stand to make some healthier choices for our work days. Learn more about staying healthy at work from this infographic!