Office Habits that Cause Weight Gain

6231943532_b1d45efce4_zToday’s office worker works longer hours is exposed to more stress and increased risk of disease than ever before. As a nation, we are neglecting our health and future in order to get just one more task done today. Here are a few habits you might consider changing in order to avoid an expanding middle and a future filled with medical visits.

1. Evaluate how many hours a day you sit. Studies have shown that office workers who sit most of the day at a desk or computer terminal are at significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease and early death. Where we once rose at dawn, worked all day, and went to bed after sunset without having sat down for much more than to eat, we now spend our lives in a seated position. We sit on our way to and from work. We sit at our desk. We sit at meetings. Most meals are in a seated position and then we spend the rest of the evening sitting in front of the television.

Changing your habits just a little will impact your life in a very positive way. Incorporate activity into your work life. Walk to a colleague’s office rather than sending an email. Aim for a step count of 10,000 by wearing a pedometer every day to remind you that you’re looking to increase your activity. Look for reasons to get up and stand. Some businesses have instituted that all meetings were to be stand-up meetings, not only for the health benefits, but for an increased level of engagement.

2. Office Goodies. There is always someone in an office who brings in doughnuts, or orders pizza once a week, or otherwise provides treats and snacks like a never-ending candy jar that we absently dip our hands into. While you may be very careful with your calories at every meal, consuming just a couple hundred calories every day adds up fast. Those two little Milky Way bars you eat at your friend’s desk every day may translate into a bigger clothing size by the end of the year.

3. Emotional Eating. This sounds like something usually done at home, in private, like in the closet or something. But with ever-increasing stress and demanding jobs, more and more people turn to food to feel better. And it works, at least for a little while. Got chewed at this morning’s meeting, you deserve that crunchy granola bar or two. And crunchy foods do make us feel better because we can’t exactly turn around and chew out our boss. Not if we want to keep our jobs. And you probably didn’t think to pack carrots and celery sticks to help curb your emotional eating. You may not even realize you’re doing it. In truth, eating makes us feel better. Not only does it nourish our body, it eases the physical symptoms of stress, making us feel better. Which foods make us feel better? The ones with sugar, salt, and fat in them, otherwise known as junk food. Notice what you eat on any given day and why you might be reaching for foods that will make you feel better for an hour or so, but will leave you feeling worse than before.
Photo Credit:
New office in Warsaw
Kompania Piwowarska
at Flickr