Ever since I started an office job 7 years ago I noticed the pounds creeping on. Like most people I sat my desk all day, snacking on junk food and working long hours to meet deadlines. Spending a big percentage of my life in the office under these conditions I noticed the damage it was doing, not only physically but mentally as well.
Stress is a serious issue, not only does it effect you mentally, it also effects you physically – everything from chest pains to depression can be caused by stress. And sitting at a desk under a fluorescent light for 9 to 10 hours a day doesn’t help either.
One of the best way to improve your health – physically and mentally is eating right and exercising. Not only will it help you shed those extra desk pounds, it will help you focus and concentrate better – improving your overall performance at work.
You may be lucky enough to work from a company that offers health and wellness incentives such a on-site gyms, group fitness sessions or even massages. But more often than not, it’s up to you – the employee to make the change for the better.
In my office there’s little on offer other than an off-site gym membership and fresh fruit, but just because someone hasn’t handed it to me on a plate doesn’t mean that I can’t do something, and there is ways you can make a positive change too:
Start a Step competition between colleagues/friends
A small group of us all signed up for the Withings app to track out step count. You can link it with you friends accounts and keep track of who is moving the most. I saw a huge increase in physically activity in our office due the competitive nature of my colleagues. It was a good change, lots of people started walking to work to get their step count up. While I chose to drive to the office, I found myself getting up earlier to go for a power walk before leaving for work to get those extra steps in.
Start a healthy lunch club
Gather a small group of friends and start a lunch club. You basically take it turns to cook lunch for each other throughout the week. Not only does this reduce your lunch expenses and save time not having to prepare lunch every evening, you’ll also get to try new foods and take a proper break while you eat as well.
Organise a fruit delivery
I find that when fruit is available rather than junk food, people will tend to snack on that rather than going to out to by junk food. Fruit can be pretty inexpensive, if your company won’t pay for it, you can send a email round asking everyone for a few euros/pounds/dollars to contribute. Have it delivered first thing on a Monday and it will mostly likely do you for the week. You’ll quickly get an idea of how much is needed therefore keeping costs down.
Set up an exercise class or buddy up
Speak with local gyms to see if you can book an exclusive slot just for your company employee – be it a lunch time workout class or after work. If a few people go, more will likely join in. But if you can’t round up enough people for a class, just ask one or 2 people to go with you. Currently I go to a yoga class with a friend from work, but we’re looking into organising a class in the office to encourage more people to take part.
I hope the above ideas gave you some inspiration to make a change in your office. I always find a knock on effect with these things, if one or two people start make a change it encourages others to as well. Speak to our HR manager, they might have some ideas of their own. If not, there’s nothing stopping you organising something yourself.