How to Stay Healthy While Working a Desk Job

One of the perks of working for a large company is they often have fitness programs and on-site gyms so you can squeeze in a workout during lunch or after work. However, your average company does not have the benefits that a larger company may have. This does not mean employers and employees can’t find ways to make the workplace a healthier place to work.

If you work an office job you probably spend at least six hours per day sitting down. Try to find reasons to get up and walk around. Organize your office space so that any time you need to print, scan, or copy a document you are required to get up and walk to the printer. Park in the farthest parking spot at the office to give yourself an extra few minutes in the morning to walk into work. Instead of calling a co-worker, walk to their office and see if they are available to talk in person. If they are unavailable, walk back later. Instead of sending a mass email to everyone, post information on a bulletin board that requires everyone to get up to read new information.

You can also push to have more programs like the larger companies, but with fewer expenses. An internal ‘biggest loser’ competition can motivate employees to lose weight by offering a nice reward such as a few extra vacation days. Spend a few dollars per person to buy everyone a pedometer and see who can take the most steps in a one month period and offer a reward for the most active employee. Offer a longer lunch period for employees who plan to exercise during that time. Work out a deal with the local gym to give employees a reduced price on their gym memberships. Also, you can cater a healthy lunch every once in a while.

Office outings can be a great way to build camaraderie and a healthier company culture. Instead of the office going to a sports game or someone’s home for a party, plan for everyone to attend a ‘high ropes’ obstacle course, play a sport, or play paintball. If your company is large enough, create your own internal sports league that meets and plays your favorite sport once a week after work. Or even better, challenge other companies in the local area to see who the best firm in the local area is.

Even if your company does not offer all the fancy perks to help you reach your health goals, there are plenty of ways to make your work life work for you and not against you. Pick your favorite idea and start talking to your colleagues about setting something up. It only takes a few people to like your ideas to get the ball rolling.

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Coffee Naps are Better than Coffee or Naps Alone – Things Worth Sharing

Are you a coffee drinker, napper, or both? It appears that the best way to wake yourself up is to drink coffee, and immediately follow it with a 20 minute nap. Don’t believe me? Check out this great video by Vox!

‘Things Worth Sharing’ is the portion of the website where I share interesting and useful health and fitness articles not written by 2 Weeks to Health. Nothing is advertised, everything is awesome.

National Obesity Epidemic Grassroots Solution

When I see a commercial for diet pills, diets that restrict the body of nutritional essentials, or programs that claim you can lose substantial weight in very short periods of time, I cringe. After watching friends and family fall into this trap over and over again without reaching their goals, I became tired of seeing them trying these temporary fixes and becoming frustrated that they didn’t work long term. For example, the Atkins diet. This diet wants to cut out carbs and increase protein consumption. Does it work? Yes, I’ve seen people lose weight from this diet. However, if you remove carbs from your diet, your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to properly function, making this diet short term. Then when the diet ends, the problem wasn’t fixed, and weight gets put back on.

In business school, students are taught to look for pain points and create and market products to alleviate the pain. So naturally, when the pain point is obesity, methods to lose weight quickly such as the Adkins diet will be very popular. However, this strategy doesn’t pass business ethics. Sticking with the Atkins diet example, if a middle-aged man with high blood pressure and high cholesterol adopts the high protein diet and only eats Pork and Beef for a month to lose weight, this could pose a serious health risk. Not only is he not getting proper nutrients or energy, but he is continually increasing his blood pressure and cholesterol. Then when he continues to eat poorly when off the diet, gains weight, and goes back on the Atkins diet a year later, his health will further decline. Pain point solved, right?

Wrong. Although profitable, the morality behind marketing products that are supposed to aid in weight loss, but instead can hurt one’s health is iffy. So what should the middle-aged man do to get his summer body? What he needs is a lifestyle change. He needs to eat healthier and exercise, it’s really that simple. The problem is he doesn’t know how to properly exercise or eat healthier, so he turns to what is marketed to him, which is far more convenient when he has a busy job and extensive social calendar.

Millions of Americans are in this position when it comes to weight loss. They are trying, but ultimately failing. Government leaders have created national movements and education programs to stop the obesity epidemic, but that often just translates to a few headlines about exercising more on NBC. So what can we do to stop obesity? The government isn’t making much headway, businesses are trying to sell product not solutions, and frankly, we as Americans are not doing much to help, especially with the “big is beautiful” campaigns. Big can be beautiful, that is until you get diabetes. Like many large movements, this needs to start at the grassroots level, within the culture of small communities. If more of us decide to learn about exercise and nutrition, then spread the word to our friends and families, slowly healthy living will become standard vocabulary. The more we talk about it, the more likely we are to take action. Then as we all start taking action to get ourselves, friends, and family out of obesity, then soon healthy living will be a habit.

So let’s start with helping one another, and before we know it we will make America healthy again.