Huffington Post estimates that about 42 percent of Americans will be obese by the 2030. Part of that astronomically high statistic has to do with the daily diet of Americans. But the other part of it has to do with how we live. That is why work-life balance has become such a big deal now and many companies are emphasizing it. Staying healthy and having a demanding full time job can be a tough balancing act.
After work, all you really want to do is just kick back and relax. But maybe that can change if you know that keeping healthy doesn’t involve that much work on your part. This article details several things you can do to keep healthy while working a full-time job. This article is especially geared towards those who extremely demanding jobs that require at least 10 hours of work a day but anyone can use these tips to get in the habit of staying healthy in the workplace.
Stand While You Work
Sitting, especially sitting 10 hours a day, is extremely bad for your health. Not only is it bad for your posture, but it increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that males had an almost 65 higher chance of dying of heart disease if they spent more than 23 hours a week sitting while driving and watching TV. Similar studies showed that people with jobs that require sitting tend to have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people who mostly stand on the job. The reasoning behind this the sedentary lifestyle that sitting promotes and thus the culmination of abdominal fat, which is a big risk factor in heart attacks. In addition to heart disease, prolonged sitting has also been linked to chronic and deadly diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
More companies are aware of the dangers of prolonged sitting so they are starting to promote ergonomic solutions in the workplace, including sit-stand desks. If your office does not have sit-stand desks by default, try to check with your HR office. In addition to it reducing back pain and your risk of chronic and deadly diseases, it also burns up to 40 percent more calories than sitting down. If you are not able to procure a sit-stand, at least try to get permission to bring a stability ball in so you can sit on it. This is much better for you than regular chairs.
Do High Intensity Interval Training or Metabolic Conditioning
Metabolic conditioning (metcon) and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are much more efficient ways to burn calories than regular aerobic cardio. Aerobic cardio, or steady-state cardio exercise, is good for burning calories and building up your cardio endurance. However, aerobic exercise is best for those that have some time on their hands. If you are short on time, you need to be efficient with your exercise. With metabolic conditioning and high intensity interval training, you can burn the same amount of calories in half of the time. Metabolic conditioning and high intensity interval training also do a great job of burning calories hours after exercising (via excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). If you have a 30 minute lunch and you want to work out, you will have plenty of time to get your workout out of the way and shower if you do metcon and HIIT.
Eat Light Snacks Throughout The Day
If you are working hard, you will need energy to fuel your day. What most people do (incorrectly) is have three big meals during the day. Instead, what you should be doing is having small meals throughout the day. Bring snacks and small meals so you can eat them throughout the day. This way you can get the proper nutrition without feeling lethargic or sleepy. Additionally, by eating small meals at your desk, you can reserve your lunch to exercise.
Take Breaks Often
It is important to take breaks often to stretch and walk. Use the break to take a little bathroom break, walk around, or just to stretch in front of your desk. This lets your muscles stay loose through the day, burn some extra calories, and prevents muscle aches. This is especially important if you are sitting in front of the computer for most of the day as keeping your eyes a break from the screen is important in keeping optimal visual acuity.
Drink Water Often
It’s easy to get caught up in work and forget about your body’s needs. However, you should always be drinking water. The body can last longer without food than it can without water; that is how important water is to the body. So when working, you should always have a bottle of water next to you. Follow the age-old advice of drinking 8 cups of water a day. Drinking water hydrates your system and keeps you healthy. Additionally, it will help keep you alert at work.
Take Time To Create A Good Workspace
How your workspace is situated is important to your wellbeing. You need to have a workspace that is ergonomically friendly. That means your monitor should be eye-level so your neck does not need to bend downward to see. Your neck should maintain its normal posture and curvature to avoid cervical strains, sprains, and spasms. Your chair (if you are using one) should have lumbar support so you do not suffer from low back pain. Additionally, your monitor should be spaced far enough from your face to avoid straining your eyes.
Just because you work a lot does not mean you have an excuse to not live a healthy lifestyle. Keeping a healthy lifestyle is even more important if you are busy. If you are one of the few who works longer days than most of us, follow these tips above to stay healthy and keep your work-life balance in check.