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By Kirsten Macnab
Your office job may be holding you back from your true fitness potential.
You expect heavy drinkers, smokers and meat-eaters to be more likely to suffer from a heart attack. But, why do people who exercise every day, are vegetarian, and non-smokers keep suffering from heart attacks? Sitting on your butt all day at your desk job may be a huge contributor to the rise in diabetes and heart disease.
Ronesh Sinha, an internal medicine physician for Sutter Health’s Palo Alto Medical foundation, has been researching why people who are deemed to be healthy and tick all the boxes, are still suffering from heart attacks and diabetes. And no, walking from one side of the office to the other to grab your burger does not count as being active.
As human beings, we are not supposed to be sedentary. “In my clinic, I consider walking steps to be a vital sign as important as blood pressure and pulse, and my patients on average walk about 3,000 steps daily, far less than the goal of 10,000 steps a day,” said Sinha.
Ditch the desk! In your lunch hour, venture outside and take a brisk walk around your office to get lunch. One better: Walk to work if you can. Think of it as your contribution to saving the planet, one healthy step at a time! This will also help you climb closer to the 10, 000 step goal. You should be trying to walk as much as possible over and above your 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week.
RELATED: This 10-Minute Trick Will Wake You Up More Than Caffeine Does.
It is hard to avoid unhealthy food that is placed right in front of you. Whether your office provides you with lunch or you head to your nearest Food Lover’s Market, it can be difficult to avoid the temptation of battered, greasy food. Our old friend, stress, also doesn’t help you out. Stress, which runs rampant around the office, makes you want to eat unhealthy comfort food. These two combinations make eating wholesome food at work that much harder. To counter stress’s attack, always bring your own packed lunch and healthy snacks with you to work. This will help you to conquer the temptations around you, especially those delicious office doughnuts and yet another colleague’s birthday cake.
RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide To Mastering Food Prep.
Sinha also explains that people who have office jobs don’t go for regular check-ups with the doctor. Employees feel as if they don’t have enough time in the work day to go for a quick check-up and the doctor always seems far away. Make sure, even if you work a typical 9-5 job that you go to the doctor on the reg! This may save you from unnecessary health issues later on. If you suffer from severe stress, the doctor may be able to help you deal with this stress more effectively.
No matter how fulfilling your desk job may be, don’t let it affect how active you are as a person. Finding time to exercise, walking outside in your lunch hour and prepping your meals beforehand can all help you stay active. Stress is another trigger for an unhealthy lifestyle so don’t let it get the best of you. Stand up and get your company involved in creating a motivating environment.