Recent research has revealed that 42% of office workers are likely to put on up to a stone a year due to unhealthy habits at work. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you consider that most of us sit at a desk all day, office hours are longer which leaves less time for exercise, good food has been replaced with convenience food and many of us will have a drink after work to unwind after a busy day.
Just because you have an office job it doesn’t mean that you have to put on weight though. Below are a few of the main reasons why people tend to put on weight because of work and how to stop yourself falling into bad habits.
Leave the car at home
For some people, it might be virtually impossible to get to work without the car but if it is achievable, give it a go even just a couple times a week. Walking to and from work is a great way to burn calories and get your heart rate up which is vital for good health. If it is too far to walk but there is a bus stop or train station nearby, give it a go and even get off a stop early for an extra workout.
Resist the treats
According to research by Nutritionist Resource, 89% of office workers are regularly offered snacks by their co-workers and 70% of those find it difficult or impossible to turn them down. Whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with the occasional treat, mindless snacking on a regular basis will soon take its toll. If you find that you tend to get peckish during the day, take healthy snacks into work with you so you can fill up on that instead of cookies and cakes. If temptation was too hard to resist, you can compensate for it by having a smaller dinner or making an effort to hit the gym that evening.
Walk around the office
Getting away from your desk every once in a while is actually very beneficial to your health and can help to improve productivity. Make yourself popular by offering to do a tea round, take the stairs instead of the life and if you need to speak to a colleague, don’t phone or email them, go over to their desk and see them in person. It is recommended that we take 10,000 steps every day and this is easily achievable if you just make a few simple changes.
Take a lunch break
Heavy workloads, demanding deadlines and pressure from the top all contribute to more and more UK workers not taking a lunch break. For the vast majority of us, a one hour lunch has long been a thing of the past and even if we do need to pop out, most of us feel guilty for it. Research conducted by Bupa revealed that over six million UK employees do not leave their desks for lunch and of those who do, only 13% manage to get away for an hour.
Ironically, this is another reason why so many office workers are piling on the pounds. Not only are we swapping nutritious lunches for convenience foods and snacking, but rather than getting out and about during the day, we remain seated at our desks. No matter how busy you are, try to get out for at least half an hour because without a break, your productivity levels are certain to plummet.
Exercises with colleagues
The most effective way to stay motivated when it comes to exercise is to recruit a gym buddy. Exercising with others is much more enjoyable and they can encourage you to go even on days when you don’t really feel like it. Regardless of whether it’s before or after work or even during your lunch break, set up a running club, go for walks or join the gym. A lot of gyms offer a corporate discount to local businesses if enough people join which is even more of an incentive to exercise with colleagues.