5 Ways to Stay Healthy When Chained to a Desk All Day

girl sitting at a desk

Staying Healthy at the Workplace

There are serious health risks associated with long periods of sitting—heart disease, cancer, and muscle degeneration just to name a few. According to fitness.mercola.com—the average American is sitting for 9-10 hours a day, a period of time that not even a 60-90 minute workout can offset. Simply put, the human body just isn’t meant for a sedentary lifestyle. Here’s 5 ways to fight against the rat race and stay healthy at the office.

1. Maximize your circumstances

At KPMG Spark, we take work-place health seriously. Sure we down our fair share of soda—but we also create opportunities with impromptu wall-sits, ping pong matches, walks, bike-rides, stair runs, and games of catch. These things combined with an encouraging environment make for plenty of opportunities to stay fit at work. But what if you're workplace isn't so accommodating? 

The responsibility still falls on you. 

Are you taking the elevator up to the 3rd floor? Are you always scrapping with coworkers for the closest parking spot? These are missed opportunities. 

Look for ways to turn everyday activities into mini workouts. It may not sound like much, but adding 50 ft. to your parking lot walk or an extra flight of stairs a day can really add up overtime. 

2. Commit to short workouts

It’s unlikely that your boss is willing to give you an hour and a half to pump iron everyday. And even if he did, would it be the best way to maximize your workouts? According to many researchers—no

Short high interval workouts have been clinically proven to be more effective as Dr. Izumi Tabata proved in the 90’s with his experiments on Olympic speed skaters. His work has inspired other popular workout gurus and styles to adapt this same format in what they refer to as “interval training.” 

Besides—Who wants to work out for an hour and a half when they can get the same results in less than half the time? 

3. Deskercise

Move over Zumba and SoulCycle...“Deskercise” is the next big thing. There are dozens of workouts you can perform at your desk to help stay in shape without distracting those around you. 

Greatist.com has a well...“great” list of 33 exercise you can do from the comfort of your cubicle. Make sure to check out the list to some unique ways to stay healthy at the desk.

4. Speak with HR

If you think upper management doesn’t have a vested interest in your health—you’re wrong. That’s not to say they all recognize the benefits of a healthy workforce, but they are exactly that—benefits. Being a healthy employees means being a productive employee, and productivity means profit. A healthier workforce could also mean less insurance payouts for the employer. 

Many companies are trying to find innovative ways to keep employees healthy including programs like HealthyWage that reward employees monetarily for losing weight. Here at KPMG Spark, the employees are provided company bikes and encouraged to use them often to keep health and spirits high. 

If upper management is stuck in the era of smoking jackets and mahogany wood, perhaps you might consider bringing these facts to HR’s attention—tastefully of course. 

5. Bring your own lunch. 

Lunches have come a long way since the days of a PB&J’s, high fructose juices, and chips. Granted, PB & J's are still delicious and cheap, but there are dozens of healthier alternatives that are relatively easy to make. 

Diet is just as important as exercise. And if you plan on staying healthy at work, you better incorporate a well-thought out diet. Preparing your own lunch will not only help you control what goes into your food, but it will also help you control your portions so you aren’t tempted to eat more than you should. 

Not to mention, bringing your own lunch will help you save a substantial amount of money. TIME Magazine reports that taking your food to work will save you on average $2,500 dollars a year. That’s enough to buy one of those trendy Segway ripoffs all the celebrities are using like the IO Hawk. Heck, after that, you’ll even have a nice chunk of change leftover to put towards your kid’s college fund.