Is your office job making you fat? If you’re like most Americans, you spend the majority of your waking hours at work–and that means a healthy workplace mindset is crucial to your best life. Use some of these tips to get started:
Get a head start.
Ensure a good night’s sleep by visiting the gym, preparing a healthy meal and relaxing before you hit the sack. Try to leave work where it belongs—at work. If you absolutely must get in some screen time, keep it as far away from bedtime as possible. The display light on your computer or smartphone can interfere with your body’s internal clock, and elevating your heart rate even a little can increase cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. (Learn more about the connection between sleep and weight loss.)
Dress for success.
Opt for flats over heels, and shoot for comfortable rather than couture. Studies show that folks who work in comfort move more, burning more calories in the process.
Indulge your senses.
Whether it’s listening to your iPod on your morning commute or looking out the window instead of at your computer screen, studies show that exposing your senses organically during the workday decreases stress hormones and your heart rate.
Find a healthy lunch buddy.
While it’s ideal to avoid eating out for lunch, mindlessly swallowing a brown-bag lunch in front of your computer isn’t the answer. Sharing your lunch hour with a friend who has similar health goals is a better way to stick to an eating plan. You’ll get the added benefits of socializing, which studies suggest helps improve cognitive skills. Even if you do eat out, it will be easier to avoid the deep fryer if you and your companion share the same health-conscious mindset.
Move your body.
Sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end doesn’t do your body any favors, so whenever you have the chance to move, take the opportunity. Travel for an in-person chat with a coworker instead of sending an email, or reject the elevator in favor of the stairs. Regular stretching will keep your head, neck, upper back and shoulders from rebelling on you (along with these six stretching benefits).