Hands up who works in an office – either at home or at the company workplace?

Lots of us do. For at least 8 hours a day we toil away at our desks indoors.

But only now are we starting to recognize the detrimental health effects this lifestyle has on our bodies. So whilst quitting the office life is likely not an option, how can we make changes can we make to stay healthy whilst maintaining an office job?

Sitting all day

Is sitting the new smoking? That’s what some people are now claiming due to the serious effects sitting all day has on the body. The Smithsonian claims that sitting all day can increase rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

So what can we do?

  • Take regular breaks from sitting. Move around. Get a glass of water. Make an effort to take the stairs
  • Or even better is invest, or convince your boss to invest, in a standing desk.
  • Rather than sit or stand all day, the optimal goal is to mix it up, so as not to put excessive strain on the body.

Not getting enough vitamin D

It’s so easy to not get enough vitamin D. If you are like me, maybe you commute to work early via train or car, work all day then return home or head straight to the gym. Vitamin D is really important for proper bodily functioning, including calcium absorption which can lead to nasty bone problems in the long term. We can all become easily depleted, especially in winter.

So what can we do?

  • While you may feel the urge to sit at your computer during your lunch break, often lunchtime is the only chance you’ll have to get out and catch some sweet sun rays. So grab your lunch and get outside for a break that will do your body good and make you feel refreshed for the afternoon ahead.
  • If you are unsure whether you are getting enough vitamin D, get your levels checked by a doctor. Vitamin D supplements are commonly prescribed once a deficiency is identified.

Too much sugar and caffeine

Ah, sugar and caffeine. I have a love hate relationship with both. Both are great when you have them but then they let you down as the rush dissipates. Then you need more. And more. Suddenly I’m drinking four coffees a day and feeling crap. Eating chocolate in the afternoon and wondering why I’m not sleeping well. Then having more coffee in the morning to make up for not sleeping, and on and on goes the vicious cycle. Coffee is like the bad boyfriend I could never leave.

So what can we do?

Well, getting off the coffee train is not for necessary for everyone. But including some other options to help stay awake can promote a healthier lifestyle. This includes green apples, various teas such as yerba mate and going for a brisk walk at lunchtime all help. So try to mix it up a little and your body will thank you.