Sunday, December 27, 2009

Is your job making you fat?

Love your job, but it doesn't love you? 

Many of the jobs held by Americans these days have two counts against them.  The first is the sedentary nature of most jobs.  Unlike jobs of the past, today most of us work in offices, at desks, and sit in meetings.  Secondly, those same offices encourage snacks, eating lunch out, bringing lunch in, donuts at meetings, etc.  The two mixed together are a program for disaster!

A recent study conducted by the University of Chicago in 2001 found that a worker in a sedentary career may end up with a Body Mass Index 3.3 units higher than someone in a highly active job. If you’re 5'5" this can mean an increase in weight from 140 pounds to 155 pounds!

Below are some of my thoughts on how to counteract the sedentary revolution:

1.  Be sure to eat.  Your body does need energy, for stress management and brain food.
2.  Compensate for your inactivity by joining a gym, or exercising before or after work.
3.  Get your co-workers involved in some non-food activities with you, like a volleyball team or a lunchtime class.
4.  Try organizing a healthy food lunch exchange, or instituting a healthy food rule for meetings.
5.  Stash healthy snacks at work, so they are handy, and will lesson your indulgence in naughty office goodies.
6.  Try an exercise ball for your office chair, do some "deskercise" during work, or get up and deliver the memo in person, or go and talk directly to the individual 4 desks down instead of calling.
7.  Make mindful choices for your meals at work, and plan ahead to avert dietary disaster!

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