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8 Ways To Stay Healthy And Fit With A Desk Job

When working at a desk job, it can often be difficult to find ways to stay healthy. When you’re cooped up indoors all day, you may let stress and unhealthy habits take over.

Those who work desk jobs (and sit all day long) might be at risk of muscle loss, weight gain, and high-stress levels. With the correct diet, mindfulness, and exercise, you may find yourself in better health — even with your desk job.

Ways To Stay Healthy In The Office: Taking Care Of Your Body And Mind While Working A Desk Job

When working a desk job, both mental and physical activity play a role during your road to good health. Exercising your brain and body are both important components of a healthy lifestyle. And ultimately, this can help prevent burnout on the job.

It might take some time to develop these healthy habits, but these exercises may prove helpful.
When considering your own emotional health, you could try:

1. Mindfulness Meditation

With this type of meditation, you:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Control and stabilize your breathing to relax.
  3.  Let your mind focus on the present (not the past or future).

ways to stay healthy | Gundry MDResearch suggests that this type of meditation may help ease stress. And even better, it only takes a few minutes, and you can do it anywhere. Take time during your work day to practice mindfulness meditation.1

When considering your own physical health, you could try:

2. Stretching

Desk job employees are often stuck sitting for their entire work day. Taking a few stretching breaks, even at your desk space, can help ease physical and emotional stress and strain. Just make sure you take deep, controlled breaths as you stretch to get the most benefit.2

3. Standing Up

It may seem silly, but simply standing up when you can could benefit your physical health. The act of standing puts your body in motion, and it might help with physical stress. Take short breaks to stand up and stretch when you can, or ask your company about a standing desk.3

ways to stay healthy | Gundry MD

Physical Health: Get Plenty Of Exercise And Engage In Physical Activity Throughout The Day

Since desk jobs usually keep you at your desk for the entire shift, it’s important to exercise and engage in physical activities outside of the office. By doing so, you can help reduce stress and even begin to better manage it.4 Without physical activity, you may be at risk for muscle loss or fatigue.

Your exercise regimen doesn’t have to be extreme to keep you on the path to physical health. Here are some suggestions.

4. Walking (Aerobic Exercise)

You’d be surprised at how active you’ll be if you simply start walking more. And don’t let your day job prevent you from getting up and moving. Park a little farther to get a walk in, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get out for a short walk at lunchtime, or walk to a colleague’s desk instead of calling them.

Adding more steps to your day is healthier than the convenience of not walking, and it even burns calories in the process.5

ways to stay healthy | Gundry MD5. Weight Training (Anaerobic Exercise)

About 30 minutes of weight training once a week can help you rebuild muscle loss or weakness. While weight training may sound intense, it’s best to start with smaller weights and work your way up. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it. If you’ve got questions about the proper way to lift weights, talk to a trainer at your local gym for guidance.

Ask your doctor if you have questions about muscle loss and whether or not weight training is a good option for you.6

Diet: Eat Plenty Of Fresh Fruits And Veggies, Choose The Right Drinks, And Avoid Foods High In Calories

Good health is often associated with a well-balanced diet, and for good reason. Since stress is often linked to over- or under-eating, it’s important to implement healthy habits, such as eating three smaller meals a day and eating lots of fruits and vegetables.7

ways to stay healthy | Gundry MD

6. Fruits And Vegetables Are Instrumental To A Healthy Life

Chances are that during the work week eating junk from the vending machine or nearby drive-through is a quick, convenient option. While this may be true, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Take a few minutes to put together a lunch or some snacks for work. By packing fresh fruits and veggies to take to work, you can keep your snacking calories down while also working to prevent unhealthy habits. In addition, replacing foods high in saturated fats and carbs with fruits or vegetables may help you lose weight.8

7. Foods And Drinks To Cut Back On: Sugars, High Fat Foods, And Alcohol

When maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, it’s important to cut back on things that aren’t good for you. If you aren’t able to cut them out of your life completely, moderation is the way to go.

Cut out sugary drinks: Drink water instead of sodas or juices that have a high sugar and calorie content. Water keeps you hydrated, and of course, has no sugar.10

You can also try adding fresh fruit to your water for some extra flavor or sipping on unsweetened coffee and tea.

ways to stay healthy | Gundry MD

Cut out high-fat foods: Eat poultry or fish instead of red meat. Red meat tends to have the highest saturated fat content, whereas poultry or fish have healthy fats.11

Cut out alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are high in calories and sugar. By staying away from alcohol, you are more likely to stay hydrated and keep weight off.12

By watching what you eat and drink, you’re more likely to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight. Feeling good physically can often make you feel better mentally.

Mental Health: Get A Good Night’s Sleep And Learn To Manage Stress

Something that is often overlooked is quality sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial towards maintaining good emotional and physical health. Without sleep, it’s much easier to develop a variety of obstacles.

8. Sleep

For emotional health — Lack of sleep can lead to a low mood. When working a desk job, or any job for that matter, it’s important to get plenty of sleep and to stimulate yourself mentally during waking hours. Think activities like puzzles, reading, listening to music or socializing. 13

For physical health — Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system. This can make you much more susceptible to catching the flu or common cold, or some other illness.14

ways to stay healthy | Gundry MD

Working a desk job might make it easier to neglect your overall health. These tips to stay healthy all involve a proper balance between physical and emotional health. With these tips in mind, you can make the necessary healthy lifestyle changes to feel and look your best.

Learn More:
8 Great Alternatives to Running in Cold Weather
How To Start A Healthy Lifestyle With Easy Habit Changes
A Healthy And Happy You: Can Better Health Lead To Happiness?

Sources:
1 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967
2 https://www.healthline.com/health/deskercise#arms
3 https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/jared-bunch-rhythm-of-life/stand-up-for-a-healthier-life/
4 https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/fulltext/2013/05000/STRESS_RELIEF__The_Role_of_Exercise_in_Stress.6.aspx
5 https://www.bcbsil.com/health/achieving_wellness/healthy_desk
6 https://www.bustle.com/articles/174093-11-things-to-do-to-stay-healthy-if-you-have-a-desk-job
7 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat
8 https://www.businessinsider.com.au/weight-loss-tips-for-people-who-work-a-lot-2018-11
9 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-is-a-plant-based-diet-and-why-should-you-try-it-2018092614760
10 https://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2017/12/07/22/02/how-your-body-changes-when-you-stop-drinking-soda
11 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/meat-poultry-and-fish-picking-healthy-proteins
12 https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19532341/what-happens-when-you-stop-drinking-alcohol/
13 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/health-impact/complex-relationship-between-sleep-depression-anxiety
14 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629403/