Admin and clerical employees usually do their work in the comfort of an office chair. The problem with this is that over time that chair gets quite a bit less comfortable. Sitting too long during your day can lead to all sorts of health problems. Weight gain, back pain and countless other ailments can be traced back to chronic inactivity of the sort most office workers know all too well. All is not necessarily lost, however, as there are many ways to avoid office-related health problems and keep yourself fit and healthy.
The first area where most office workers can act to improve their health is also in many ways the easiest. Keeping to a healthy diet is a good idea for everyone, but it takes on a special importance for people whose jobs restrict their physical activity to a bare minimum. It stands to reason that if your day is spent conserving energy in a chair, it will be far more difficult to use up that surplus of energy you get from high-calorie foods. Try cutting back your intake of energy-rich meat to a single serving per day and fill that empty spot in your stomach with lower-calorie vegetables, especially salads. This will reduce the energy available from food that your body turns into fat if you aren’t active.
Another good way to keep off weight is to step up your physical activity whenever possible. Sadly, it isn’t always feasible to get yourself a full-service gym membership, but there are plenty of things you can do to increase your output, even during a workday. You might start by looking for any opportunity to get up out of your chair. Volunteer to run others’ papers across the office for them, take the stairs whenever you can and try making two trips instead of one for supplies and other errands. The idea is to gradually introduce physical inefficiency into your routine, making your body work harder and filling the gap left by barely moving for the rest of the day.
It isn’t all diet and exercise, of course. Of a somewhat more immediate and pressing concern in the office is to avoid injury. Acute injuries are often the result of safety hazards around the workplace, and most employers already have some kind of policy put in place to minimize the risks workers face. Chronic injuries usually develop over time and can be avoided very often by working closely with your office management to develop an injury-prevention program that begins with ergonomically correct equipment and ends with training on how to avoid workplace-related injuries such as back strain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Keeping healthy isn’t easy when your day job calls for physical inactivity for 40 hours per week. The good news is that by taking basic precautions to prevent injury in the office, combined with a careful regimen of diet and exercise, you can successfully fight back against the slings and arrows an admin or clerical job can inflict on your physique so as to live a longer, healthier life.
Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for Beyond.com. Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites. Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/BeyondJobs.