Don’t Be a Desk Potato! how to stay active at a desk job

Image courtesy of Levo League

Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day just does not do it for me.  During the school year, I spend so much time running to class, performing, working out, and rehearsing, that it feels like I barely sit down.  But for the past two summers I’ve held an amazing summer assistant job at a major company…which has meant desk work. A lot of it.  And in that time I’ve found that hours of restful sitting does not a happy Lauren make.

I was meditating on this issue the other day, while readin several great profiles of professional women from Levo League (by the way, if you haven’t checked this organization out, go do so right now! Probably the most excellent source of information for 20 something women I’ve come across).  One thing that all of them seem to have in common?  Insanely active lifestyles, and a passion for fitting fitness into the work day. I love that! I am so inspired by women who take on a full 40+ with gusto, and still remember that their bodies are incredibly important. 

Here are some of my tips for staying active at work, even at your desk!

1) Standing your ground

It might be tempting to sit in that office chair all day while you type away at the computer or file your heart out. But I say: do not give in!  My rule of thumb: if it can be done standing, do it. Example: one of my major jobs is scanning files into a database.  While I have to sit to enter info into the computer, I’ve discovered that organizing and assembling files is best done on my feet! Plus side: any afternoon drowsy spells are usually crushed.

2) Take a walk

If I do have to sit for a long period of time, I find myself itching to walk it off after about an hour.  I realize some companies are more restrictive, but even getting up and out of your seat for one minute is better than sitting all day!  Tip: when you need to get a drink or go to the bathroom, head to the station furthest from your desk. You’ll get a little extra walk in!

3) Don’t let the day beat you down

Sometimes after a long day, the last thing I want to do is workout.  I’m tired, grumpy, and would much rather go home and chill out with a good book and an iced coffee. But getting a little excercise in everyday is vital to my happiness.  I try to remember how good I’ll feel afterwards when I’m struggling to lace up my tennis shoes.  For me, the best time to work out is in the evenings after work.  But if you lose all motivation once 5 o’clock rolls around, try and fit a little workout in in the morning! It might seem difficult to wake up earlier, but you’ll be reaping the benefits all day long.

4) Get your fuel!

Whenever I feel like I’m lagging a little bit, I use these instant energy boosters:
-Water! I try and drink at least four glasses at work each day. Hydration keeps you focused
-Snack time: that tired might feeling might just be your body telling you it needs some TLC.  I try to always keep some snacks at work.  Favorites include watermelon, carrot sticks, or some low-fat and low-carb crackers or popcorn.
-Music: there’s nothing like a favorite jam coming on to give me some extra motivation. I love listening to Country Pop Pandora or Imagine Dragons!




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