5 Healthy Office Activities for Weight Loss
Do you sit on your butt all day? Just because you have a desk job doesn’t mean you can’t burn calories at work. Desk jobs can lead to lifestyle diseases such hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Luckily, you don’t have to go to the gym to stay fit even if you’re stuck in the office. With a little of effort, you can lose weight and be healthy while at work.
5 Things You can do at the Office to Lose Weight
- Use the stairs. Fitness experts found that cycles of intense bursts of physical activity followed by moderate activity are just as effective as high intensity exercise in burning calories. So instead of taking the elevator, sprint up (or down) the stairs for a minute or at least two to three floors then follow it up by climbing one or two floors at your normal pace. You can do this for ten to fifteen minutes and still get the same advantages as a regular 30-minute workout. It’s a great cardio and strength training exercise in one. Don’t have stairs? Do a walk/run around the building.
- Have a friendly competition. Enlist coworkers in a competition. Have a point system where you get one point for walking during a break, one point for drinking water instead of soda, two points for exercising thirty-minutes or more and two points for each healthy meal. It could be a friendly competition or one where the winner receives something of value. Encouragement, camaraderie and a shared goal make it easier for people to stay with their weight loss program.
- Meet people face to face. Instead of shooting off an email to a colleague, walk to their desk, say hi and discuss the matter for a few minutes. You not only bond with them and build camaraderie; you also burn a few calories by moving. You may even prevent workplace conflict when they don’t misread your email that reads Let’s eat Doug, instead of Let’s eat, Doug.
- Work standing up. Standing up can burn up to 144 calories in three hours, or up to eight pounds a year. It keeps the blood flowing smoothly. In addition, you tend to fidget to adjust your weight while standing at long periods.
- Make healthy food choices. Just because you need to eat a convenient lunch doesn’t mean you have to compromise your diet. When choosing your meals, go for healthy food like fruits, vegetables and lean meat. If you can’t avoid having a refined carbohydrate food like pasta, sandwiches or bagels, use a smaller serving or get a smaller plate.
Small changes can help you shed and keep off the pounds. All you need is the commitment to do them. Try one of the five office activities for weight loss today. Or leave a comment and suggest more.
- Fan, J.X., Brown, B.B., Hanson, et. al., Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and weight outcomes: Does every minute count? American Journal of Health Promotion. (2013)
- University of Chester, How standing up in the office can help you lose weight. (9 January 2013)
- Wansink, B., & van Ittersum, Koert.,The visual illusions of food: Why plates, bowls, and spoons can bias consumption volume. FASEB Journal, Vol. 20(4), pp. A618. (2006)