Make Some Workplace Gains By Being A Loser!
Extra pounds are bad for your career. They can weigh heavy on performance, and not only that, the pounds quickly add up! One recent study reports that nearly 1/2 of workers have put weight on at their current job – one quarter admits to at least 10 pounds. Double that for others!
So much for working your butt off. Face it, only our scrolling/typing fingers are getting a workout. And studies attribute a lot of weight gain to stress. While stress won’t directly add to your waistline, it’ll likely have you eating more, sleeping less and even altering your metabolism.
Our jobs are fat generators. Junk food minefields are all around us – calorie-drenched take-out, mindless candy snacking, and let’s not forget those after-work therapeutic, post-labour libations.
Sitting, stress eating and not moving anything except for our lips and fingers has devastating effects on the body and brain. Avoid a slow death at your desk.
Swap out your bad habits, and whittle your waist without losing your edge:
• Drink 91 ounces of water a day! Not only will you feel full and eat less, and drink less pop and crap, but it’ll spike your metabolic rate. One study in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that drinking about 16 ounces of water temporarily increased metabolic rates by 30%. Drink six eight-ounce glasses of water per day to burn off about 200 calories.
• BYO vending machine: Put down that chip bag! Pass on the pop! Even diet soda will do you in – diet-pop drinkers experienced a whopping 70% increase in weight circumference compared to non-pop drinkers, reports one study. You are where you eat so pack along things like a banana, raw almonds and cut up veggies, and a reusable water bottle.
• Go for some deskercise: Around 86% of us sit all day at work. Not getting up will make you sick and fat. So move it! Moving for as little as two minutes every hour will lower your risk of dying by 33% over the next three years. You might look like a jack ass doing jumping jacks in the office or desk push-ups but it’ll up your blood flow, and increase your lifespan.
• Take a stand: We’re not necessarily advising a treadmill desk, since it may have you falling down on the job, but even using an adjustable standing desk is better than sitting and will burn a few extra calories. Make that 50 extra calories per hour – every calorie counts.
• Sneak away. Never eat lunch at your desk. Take your lunch at least a 10-minute walk away – or at least up a few flights of stairs. Actually, a 150-pound person could lose about six pounds a year just by climbing two flight of stairs every day. Go higher and higher – and not for takeout. The average takeout meal contains more than 800 calories. Best to bring along a healthy lunch from home.
• Find a buddy who’ll be healthy with you. Studies show we conform to eating norms in social settings. So if you’re low on willpower, maybe your office buddy can stop you from stuffing yourself with a second birthday cupcake or another handful of M&Ms.
• Don’t commute! Move closer to work or move jobs. Add a 30-minute commute by bus to your desk-sitting workday and risk higher blood pressure and cholesterol, lower life satisfaction and increased risk of depression, and you can bet on a few extra pounds.
Employers, get on board and help reduce weight gain in the office:
• Raise awareness of obesity and its effects and prevention. Hold information workshops, and lunch and learns – awareness is the first step in addressing the problem.
• Reinvent the workspace. Bring in stand-up desks, even treadmill desks, and have walking meetings too. Encourage breaks. Healthy behaviour starts at the top.
• Establish an onsite fitness facility, or offer gym membership perks to staff.
• Boost employees’ social networks and facilitate social interactions. Loneliness can contribute to moving less and reaching for unhealthy food choices. Bring in teambuilding activities and social events.
• Improve the food environment by having an attractive kitchen space that encourages workers to bring meals from home, and eat lunch together.
• Have healthy snacks in the vending machines, along with water coolers and filtered water. Alongside the coffee machine, offer up green tea. Not only is it healthier, but it contains catechins that boost fat oxidation.