Can you get fit and lose weight at work - even if you have a desk job?
Simply put, you’ll lose weight if your energy expenditure (movement) is more than your energy intake (food and drink). For those living a rather sedentary lifestyle – such as office workers who commute to work and spend their evenings sitting to watch tv – this can be difficult.
What ways are there to increase energy levels and burn more calories during the 9-5, while still keeping your office job?!
1. Keep it NEAT
Improve your health and burn more calories by moving more and sitting less. Sounds easy - but it’s usually easier to just sit still!
Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) movements are the key to burning more calories, all day every day, which will lead to weightloss. NEAT movements are the small and short-lived movements which you can build up to boost your health. These can be anything from fidgeting at your desk, to standing when making a phone call, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. Add them up over the course of a working week and they can make a significant impact on your health and weight compared to sitting still at your desk for 8 hours a day.
2. Invest in a standing desk
Compared to sitting, standing can account for around an additional 50 calories an hour.That’s an extra 400 calories in an 8 hour day – 2000 in a working week – 8,000 a month! On top of that, it’s said that standing at a desk rather than sitting all day can have a positive impact by preventing serious health conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
3. Use an Active Anti-fatigue mat
If you’ve got a standing desk then an active anti-fatigue mat by AFS-TEX – of course – will mean that you’re supported and comfortable, and not only that, you’ll be making lots of subconscious NEAT micro-movements!
AFS-TEX has recently introduced the Active Platform to the range of active anti-fatigue mats. These encourage even more movement, as they have foot massage roller balls you can move around with your feet while standing.
4. Step away from the vending machine
Get out of the habit of the vender visit! Make a note of when you visit the vending machine and put something in place to counteract your hunger. Keeping away from salty and sugary snacks and developing healthier habits like hitting the fruit bowl or bringing in your own prepared (healthier) snacks instead will be easier on your wallet as well as your waistline.
5. Drink more water
Our bodies and brains are mainly water, so keep your levels topped up by drinking around 2l per day.This will help you think clearer, will keep your digestive system in peak condition and will help to suppress your appetite, and may help reduce ‘thirst disguised as hunger’ overeating. Not a calorie burner on its own, but a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle.
6. Take regular micro-walks
If you can offer to make your colleagues a cuppa, visit your boss in person instead of calling, take your notes in person instead of emailing, then all these little walks will add up to a calorie burning boost over the course of a month.
7. Introduce stand up meetings
Want to get your Monday morning meeting over and done with?Introduce the stand-up meeting! These are designed to be shorter and they keep everyone focused on sharing the important facts rather than the minute details. Concise and calorie-burning when compared to the long sit-down meeting.
8. Take an active lunchbreak
Eating at your desk is a massive no-no for both health and productivity.
Get out of the habit and take a walk to a café or around the block. It’ll give you a mental as well as a physical boost.
9. Drink green tea
Studies suggest that taking green tea either as a drink or as a supplement may increase metabolism to burn more fat.
10. Snack smart
A couple of biccies with your afternoon cuppa won’t hurt, right? Well, they might be good for your soul, but even two plain digestives rack up just under 150 calories – that’d be 3000 calories in a working month (and let’s be honest, who just sticks at two)?
Swap that for an apple a day (about 95 kcals) and you’ll be cutting those calories by around 1100 a month, plus you’ll be getting a dose of Vitamins A and C and more dietary fibre.
11. Active sitting and fidgeting
According to a study at the Mayo Clinic, you can burn up to 350 more calories a day by fidgeting than someone who remains still.
If you’re not a naturally fidgety person, then try the Dynamic - an active footrest by AFS-TEX. This unusually shaped object is wobbly and tactile by design, to encourage you to play, fidget and control it with your feet while sitting – so you can make the most out of sitting - by not sitting still!
So as usual with weightloss advice - eat fewer calories, move more - but as you're in the office and can't move big, then our advice is to move small and often!