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Get healthy at work

Get healthy at work

By Marissa Donovan, R.D.

For most of us, working is a necessary fact of life. And while you can’t do much about a toxic boss or a job that you don’t love, you can control some aspects of your work environment. These tweaks can help you be your healthiest self at work.

Stand up when you can

Workers who used a standing desk burned more calories compared to those using sitting desks, says a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. And standing desks can help improve your posture. But remember: to use a standing desk correctly you shouldn’t be standing all day long, so alternate sitting and standing. If a standing desk isn’t an option, try getting up during phone calls, meetings and presentations.

Eat elsewhere

Lunching “al desko” could set you up for a more stressful day at work. People who took a 30-minute walk during their lunch break felt less tense or nervous and more enthusiastic compared to days where they spent their lunch chair-bound, found research from the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. If your boss expects you to work through lunch, mention that a break can improve your performance by preventing burnout.

Clean your snack shelf

The food at your desk affects your eating choices. People ate nearly 50 percent more candy when it was on their desk than they did when it was several feet away, found Cornell University research. “If healthy foods are available at your desk, it’s easier to make good choices when you’re looking for a snack,” explains Sean Cash, Ph.D., food economist and professor at Tufts University. Opt for fruit, nuts or dried chickpeas.

Set a walking meeting

A lot of recent research has focused on the adverse effects of sitting down all day, but if your employer isn’t in favor of employees using standing desks, try suggesting walking meetings, rather than those held in a conference room or across a desk. This works best with just a few people, but you may find that the meeting is more productive and elicits more interesting solutions when it’s a moving meeting than when it’s a sitting one.

Bring lunch from home, rather than eating out

Most lunches bought from snack carts, sandwich shops or food courts are higher in fat and calories than those brought from home. Make it easy to avoid the morning rush by packing leftovers up into storage containers the night before. If you’re already making a salad for dinner, make an extra portion and tuck it into a container before you dress the rest of the salad. In the morning, all you have to grab is the container and the dressing of your choice.

Set a timer for a stretch break

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re buried in a project. But if you set a timer that reminds you to get up and take a quick walk or stretch break, you’ll be more likely to break up all of those hours spent hunched over a keyboard.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

(c) 2017 EATING WELL, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

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